Kicken Berlin : Sibylle Bergemann : Sheroes of Images

As the fourth section of the exhibition collection Sheroes of Images and on the situation of the artist’s in depth exhibition this summer at the Berlinische Galerie, Kicken Berlin is displaying a assortment of rarely witnessed series from Sibylle Bergemann’s comprehensive oeuvre in a cooperation with her estate.

Sibylle Bergemann is regarded as one particular of the most vital German photographers considering that the 1970s. Jointly with her husband, Arno Fischer, she assumed a essential place in the GDR’s picture scene and released her operates in renowned art and lifestyle journals this kind of as Sibylle, Sonntag and Das Magazin and in e book publications. Just after reunification, she extended her radius to incorporate West German and international commissions. A cofounder of Agentur Ostkreuz in 1990, she served form a accountable type of visual journalism. Her photographic essays mirrored societal reality devoid of whitewashing it and typically moved symbolically further than. Vogue and portrait images were on equivalent footing between her central themes together with urban landscapes and situative avenue scenes, just as was the poetics of the daily. Sibylle Bergemann’s functions are held by intercontinental museums and collections, such as the Museum of Modern-day Artwork, New York Tate Modern, London Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich and the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin.

People today and places appreciably affected and impressed Bergemann’s do the job. In Berlin, her home foundation, the photographer sought out the silent places on the city’s edge, rather than the agent center, for both of those personal and commissioned performs. Travels to “non-socialist places abroad” were being strictly regimented and just about unachievable. Previously in 1984, on the other hand, lengthy before the fall of the Wall, she was able to journey to New York and Los Angeles as a member of the Verband Bildender Künstler (Affiliation of Wonderful Artists).

From the early 1970s, Sibylle Bergemann assumed a placement of observer in Berlin, collaborating in the predicament, still reserved. She had an eye for individual destinations and people, for sudden encounters, for the particularities of overseas quotidian scenes, for melancholy and elegance. The transformations and transitory moments of the daily never unsuccessful to attract the photographer’s focus, be it in the GDR, through the transition of reunification, or thereafter. She exposed a poetic and even visionary possible, such as in the series Das Denkmal (The Monument) about the Marx-Engels monument by sculptor Ludwig Engelhardt.

Her sense of nuance within a social microcosm is created noticeable in the collection Clärchens Ballhaus from the 1970s. Another series about females in the functioning world in the early 1990s will be demonstrated with a number of decide on illustrations for the very first time publicly in Kicken Berlin’s exhibition. Gals in a large range of fields stand before the digicam to point out their posture, really literally. They retain their have space and their personal dignity, even when potentially in a state of upheaval.

Observing her foreign and uncertain but also intriguing and new environment, Bergemann moved very first as a result of the US and afterwards Western Europe and Africa. In Manhattan she adopted a flaneur’s viewpoint, drifting by way of the concrete canyons, slipping in action with the movement of people today. Her photos exhibit her affinity to American masters of street photography like Walker Evans and Garry WInogrand and nevertheless keep their own identity. The photographer turns her marvelling, roaming gaze to this Verwun- derte Wirklichkeit (Astonished Reality, the title of a e-book by Bergemann from 1992.)

With the faraway travels in the 1990s and new commissions, color entered Bergemann’s perform as a foundational component. In West Africa and on the edges of Western Europe, in Portugal, the photographer explored the sense and condition of community colors, ultimately earning them into a constitutive characteristic of her style images. Strong contrasts were as crucial as finely graduated shade scales, each of which sensitively conveyed the genius loci of every location.

Carolin Förster


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


Maria Lewis

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