100912: Arbeiterkammer Wien Michael Schmidt – Berlin after 45

Arbeiterkammer Wien Michael Schmidt – Berlin after 45 24.05.2012 – 30.10 2012 The wounded city By Manisha Jothady He was once described as the “most famous unknown of German photography”: Michael Schmidt, to whom the New York MoMA already devoted a solo exhibit in 1996, was mainly known to the German speaking photo-art community. Only after the wide range of his works (which includes portraits, cityscapes, landscapes and still lifes) was presented at the retrospective in 2010 in the Haus der Kunst in Munich, did his popularity rise. With “Berlin after 45” he unfolds his entire spectrum of shades of grey; whereby it is difficult to concentrate on just this quality: the deserted downtown districts, parking lots, faceless streets and buildings are extremely dreary. But which Berlin is the “Berlin after 45”? The accompanying text points to the year 1980. He depicts a city in which the Second World War is ubiquitous - even 35 years after it ended. And he presents a divided city as we can only remember it on account of these kinds of photographic documents. Schmidt designed his Berlin-portrait for the Arbeiterkammer in Vienna as wallpaper, image after image, only gateways and windows cutting through the individual views. But one must question why these gloomy pictures were chosen for a venue that is frequented by people who are often in precarious situations. It’s a good thing that art doesn’t have to carry out a mission. Arbeiterkammer Vienna 1040 Vienna, Prinz Eugenstrasse 20 – 22

Arbeiterkammer Wien
1040 Wien, Prinz Eugenstraße 20-22

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