Sibylle Bergemann, Ute and Werner Mahler, and Harald Hauswald, four of the best-known East German photographers and the founders of OSTKREUZ agency, take us with their photographs to the country in which they lived. They show everyday life, work, and people of the GDR from their own subjective point of view. The photographs date from 1972 onward, and they offer an authentic and unadorned tale of a country that no longer exists but is preserved in these photographs.
In addition to the artists’ most important works—from Harald Hauswald’s observations of everyday life to Ute Mahler’s fashion photography and Sibylle Bergemann’s often decorated documentation of the building of the Marx-Engels monument on the forum of that name—other works from the final years of the German Democratic Republic are shown for the first time in this form. For example, in an early conceptual work, Sibylle Bergemann explored the P2 model apartment in the concrete slab buildings of East Berlin; Werner Mahler accompanied with his camera the students of one secondary school class from 1978 to the present in a reunited Germany; and Ute Mahler is presenting her impressions of May Day in 1980. The book concludes with a series of photographs from the period of the fall of Communism by Maurice Weiss, a French photographer who became a member of OSTKREUZ agency in 1991, shortly after it was founded.