12 SEP 2020—23 JAN 2021
Raucous, flamboyantly dressed punks, hippies, and kissing couples in a sea of Trabi cars, confrontational banners and demonstrators at Alexanderplatz in East Berlin and shadowy figures—Harald Hauswald’s authentic, tender photographs bear witness to the day-to-day reality of East Germany. The photographer was especially interested in capturing urban development in East Berlin as well as the activities of oppositional groups and various youth subcultures, all circles in which he himself moved. Hauswald laid bare the contrast between life in decrepit cities and the inner emptiness concealed behind the laboriously constructed façade of the communist state. His black-and-white photographs alternate between an enchanted, playful intimacy and a sharply satirical, dispassionate gaze. This retrospective presents over 250 photographs taken from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, selected from Hauswald’s extensive body of work. His images are placed in dialogue with the contents of the file kept on him by the East German secret police, the Stasi, over a period of more than twelve years. The exhibition is curated by Felix Hoffmann (C/O Berlin) in cooperation with Ute Mahler and Laura Benz (Ostkreuz).
A catalogue published by Steidl Verlag accompanies the exhibition. Supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds and funds from the Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur.