Harf Zimmermann, born in Dresden in 1955 and raised in Berlin, experienced the ruins and gaps in the urban landscape of the postwar period, when European cities continued to bear the scars of World War II for a long time. In his monograph “BRAND WAND”, published in 2014 by Steidl, the photographer describes the barren fire walls in Berlin, as a “sea of bricks” and as “testimony to catastrophe and failure.” In the accompanying text, his colleague Robert Polidori writes: “Over time I’ve come to realize that these images are really the visual background chours of Harf Zimmermann’s personal life history. […] Harf has personally lived through all of the changes Germany has experienced over the last sixty years. When we consider the unfolding of that uneasy history, we see that it is not a sequence of consistent progressions but rather an evolution of breaks and discontinuities punctuated by cataclysms.”
Ever since completing his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig and his thesis project with Arno Fischer, entitled “Hufelandstrasse, 1055 Berlin” (1987), Zimmermann has been taking photographs with a large-format camera. For over twenty years he has been traveling with this heavy device to places such as Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, and Warsaw, searching for traces of his own history written on these immense walls marking the end of a block of buildings or an empty lot: advertisements from the pre- and postwar eras, make-shift repairs, graffiti from the 1990s, contemporary restorations, or all of these things combined. Some walls are covered with grass and ivy, and trees have planted themselves in front of them and at some point grew higher than the building. Ignored or unnoticed by most, these remnants of destruction sometimes have the appearance of abstract paintings.
The traces, which had lasted for decades, were overgrown in the blink of an eye, as if in the last few minutes of history, by countless new layers. As if there was a competition to obliterate, to overpaint. If we were speaking about trees or drill cores from the arctic, the rings closest to the top would show the rapid climate change of the last years.”
Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 7 pm
Artist Talk (held in German) with Harf Zimmermann and Dr. Christiane Stahl
Thursday, May 17, 2018, 7 pm
Book presentation with Brita Reimers, Mara Sylvester and Jochen Winter: »Begegnungen. Von Natur und Natur« and »Die Glut des Augenblicks, Aufzeichnungen vom Ätna«, Verlag Matthes & Seitz.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 7 pm
Talk (held in German), in the series “Literaturhaus der Fotografie”:
»Es werden immer weniger« | David Wagner on Fire Walls in Berlin.
Moderation: Thomas Böhm (radio eins: Die Literaturagenten)
June 30 to September 9, 2018
On Disappearance and Reemergence – On the Ephemeral in Photography
Curated by Dr. Marie Christine Jádi
Group show with Nicole Ahland, Ellen Auerbach, Alfred Ehrhardt, Scott B. Davis, Bill Jacobson, Adam Jeppesen, Isa Marcelli, César Martins, László Moholy-Nagy, Marianne Ostermann, Rita Ostrowskaja, Helena Petersen, Ida Pimenoff, Jorma Puranen, Pentti Sammallahti, Andrea Sunder-Plassmann, Donata Wenders, Francesca Woodman
September 15 to December 23, 2018
April 21 — June 24, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, April 20, 7 – 9 pm
Opening Remarks: Dr. Christiane Stahl
+ Framework program: please see above
Auguststraße 75, 10117 Berlin
[Mitte | Mitte]
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 11 am – 6 pm, Thu 11 am – 9 pm
Extended opening hours for the Gallery Weekend Berlin 2018 (April 27–29):
Fri 11 am – 9 pm, Sat & Sun 11 am – 6 pm
Photography events in…
The »PiB Guide«
Loving printed matter? Discover PiB’s recommendations for May/June 2018 in the upcoming PiB Guide Nº18! Pre-order your copy or annual subscription now – PiB also offers international shipping. This issue of PiB’s bi-monthly art guide will be published as an A6 booklet / approx. 52 pages / with texts in English & German, and shipped by the end of April.