Kicken Berlin : Sibylle Bergemann : Sheroes of Photography

Barbara Merkley

As the fourth element of the exhibition sequence Sheroes of Pictures and on the event of the artist’s detailed exhibition this summer season at the Berlinische Galerie, Kicken Berlin is displaying a choice of almost never observed series from Sibylle Bergemann’s considerable oeuvre in a cooperation with her estate.

Sibylle Bergemann is considered a person of the most important German photographers because the 1970s. Jointly with her partner, Arno Fischer, she assumed a crucial placement in the GDR’s photo scene and released her works in renowned artwork and society journals this sort of as Sibylle, Sonntag and Das Magazin and in reserve publications. Soon after reunification, she prolonged her radius to involve West German and worldwide commissions. A cofounder of Agentur Ostkreuz in 1990, she served condition a dependable sort of visual journalism. Her photographic essays reflected societal fact with no whitewashing it and normally moved symbolically outside of. Vogue and portrait images ended up on equal footing among her central themes along with city landscapes and situative street scenes, just as was the poetics of the every day. Sibylle Bergemann’s works are held by global museums and collections, like the Museum of Modern day Artwork, New York Tate Fashionable, London Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich and the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin.

Folks and locations appreciably motivated and motivated Bergemann’s get the job done. In Berlin, her household base, the photographer sought out the peaceful locations on the city’s edge, instead than the agent centre, for each private and commissioned performs. Travels to “non-socialist spots abroad” had been strictly regimented and virtually not possible. Now in 1984, nonetheless, long in advance of the drop of the Wall, she was capable to journey to New York and Los Angeles as a member of the Verband Bildender Künstler (Affiliation of Great Artists).

From the early 1970s, Sibylle Bergemann assumed a placement of observer in Berlin, taking part in the circumstance, however reserved. She had an eye for certain sites and people today, for unexpected encounters, for the particularities of foreign quotidian scenes, for melancholy and splendor. The transformations and transitory times of the day to day never ever unsuccessful to draw the photographer’s awareness, be it in the GDR, during the changeover of reunification, or thereafter. She uncovered a poetic and even visionary possible, such as in the sequence Das Denkmal (The Monument) about the Marx-Engels monument by sculptor Ludwig Engelhardt.

Her perception of nuance inside a social microcosm is manufactured seen in the collection Clärchens Ballhaus from the 1970s. Yet another sequence about women in the working globe in the early 1990s will be shown with many pick illustrations for the initial time publicly in Kicken Berlin’s exhibition. Ladies in a big wide range of fields stand in advance of the camera to condition their place, quite pretty much. They retain their personal house and their personal dignity, even when perhaps in a point out of upheaval.

Observing her international and unsure but also intriguing and new surroundings, Bergemann moved initially through the US and afterwards Western Europe and Africa. In Manhattan she adopted a flaneur’s perspective, drifting as a result of the concrete canyons, slipping in step with the stream of men and women. Her visuals clearly show her affinity to American masters of street photography like Walker Evans and Garry WInogrand and yet keep their own id. The photographer turns her marvelling, roaming gaze to this Verwun- derte Wirklichkeit (Astonished Reality, the title of a reserve by Bergemann from 1992.)

With the faraway travels in the 1990s and new commissions, coloration entered Bergemann’s get the job done as a foundational aspect. In West Africa and on the edges of Western Europe, in Portugal, the photographer explored the come to feel and form of local hues, ultimately creating them into a constitutive feature of her manner photography. Robust contrasts were as important as finely graduated colour scales, the two of which sensitively conveyed the genius loci of every area.

Carolin Förster


Sibylle Bergemann : Sheroes of Images
June 24 – September 9 2022
Kicken Berlin
Kaiserdamm 118
D-14057 Berlin, Germany


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