OF HIPPOS AND OTHER HUMANS
The standard work on the life and work of the Berlin-based photographer Friedrich Seidenstücker (1882–1966) is noted for his atmospheric photographs of everyday life in Berlin during the Weimar Republic. Thanks to his compassionate studies of animals, he has an almost legendary reputation among animal and zoo lovers, and his haunting pictures of Berlin in ruins are a precious source of material for historians. His images seem to be spontaneous, sympathetic examples of the kind of photography that excels at capturing the moment. They are free of any exaggeration or extravagance, and display a sense of humor rarely found in photography. His work is buoyed by a fundamental optimism, yet it does not ignore the harshness, poverty, and suffering that prevailed at that time. Besides seven essays that deal with Seidenstücker’s work in the context of the history of early twentieth-century photography, this publication also contains a scholarly appendix.
Exhibition schedule: Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, October 1, 2011–February 6, 2012
There is one section with very funny and joyful nude photographs from the nineteen fourties, that are the only images shown in color. All the other images are printed in a cool duotone.
I chose pistachio green endpapers to reflect the positive attitude of Friedrich Seidenstücker.
My regards go to Ulrich Domröse, Karin Lelonek and Jana Duda from the lovely team of the Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur, Birte Kreft from the great Hatje Cantz Berlin team, and to Jan Scheffler and Kerstin Wenzel, who did just digital magic to the images. Many thanks to Maren Tanke, my reliably assistent with the finest taste in music.
This project with all these beautiful photographs was just fun to work on.
Of Hippos and Other Humans
328 pp., 287 ills. in duotone, 7 in color
23.50 x 27.90 cm