vrijdag 19 april 2019

Views & Reviews Bilder Barbara Klemm Photojournalism Photography

Barbara Klemm Bilder
S. Fischer Verlag, Berlin. 1986.
First edition, first printing.
First, very early and important photobook by Barbara Klemm.
After many publications still the favourite book by the german photographer.
Beside a lot of other wonderful photos also photos of Joseph Beuys, Wolf Biermann and Andy Warhol.
Paperback (as issued). 250 x 280 mm. 153 pages. Forword: Ellen Auerbach. Text in german.

Barbara Klemm is one of the most prominent German photojournalists. Through her camera’s lens, she has captured many years of turbulent historical happenings and current affairs. Last year, against the backdrop of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, she put together a comprehensive retrospective of her work at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin. IC Collector Werner Driller is a great admirer and collector of Klemm’s works. Next to sharing pieces from his collection, he also shares his thoughts on her photographs:

‘Since the 1970s I am interested in photojournalism. I guess it all started with the images of the assassination at the Olympic Games in Munich (I could actually buy an original print later on the Internet). In the 1980s and 90s my attention was drawn to images taken by Barbara Klemm that were published in the German newspaper FAZ. I have always been deeply impressed by her work because the people and motives she captured always looked somewhat staged. In 2003, I acquired my first print by Klemm and two years later I met her personally. Since then, I often meet her and we had long conversations about photography. The stories she told me about the creation of her images were as exciting as the works themselves. Such a free and unrestrained photojournalism will probably never exist again. That’s what makes the works of Barbara Klemm so precious to me.’

Dramatics of the Moment
How does the past become lodged in our memories? In the form of stories and pictures. Since time memorial, writers have tried to stop us forgetting. Be it Homer praising the bravery of the Greeks besieging Troy or Shakespeare admiring the beauty of his lover: The written word expresses permanence. The visual memory of the applied arts, namely sculpture and painting, renders the past visible. Auguste Rodin turns the stooped gait of the “Citizens of Calais” into oppressive reality, Max Slevogt intimates to us the triumphant gesture of Francisco d’Andrade in his famed role as Don Giovanni. Yet without doubt no visual medium is more suited to preserve an occurrence captured for a moment than is photography.

Barbara Klemm is one the most prominent chroniclers of recent German history. Since the 1960s she has been covering politics and society in both Germanies as a staff photographer attached to the main editorial desk of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. Entitled “Our Years – Pictures from Germany 1968-1998” these works went on show first in the Berlin Museum of History in 1999 and then, a year later, among others in the Schirn gallery in Frankfurt.

Were Barbara Klemm only to preserve the moment from transience, she could be regarded as one of many good photographers. The status and unmistakable character of her pictures (and they are often shot in a matter of moments) stems from the fact that they obey the specific dramatics of that one moment, never to be repeated. Be they portraits of politicians in the various constellations of power or somewhat more unspectacular snapshots of everyday life on both sides of what used to be the border separating the two Germanies: Barbara Klemm’s photographs show us intensive life, the meaning of which flares up for a moment and then by dint of the photographs continues to be visible.

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