The Early Years
"Berlin made me a photographer." Gundula Schulze Eldowy
Berlin mercilessly swallows its residents. Layer by layer, the city covers them with a blanket of oblivion. Time passes and sweeps everything along with it. With her camera Gundula Schulze Eldowy resists the flow of time. Year after year she wanders, seemingly without intent but with a clear, alert gaze through the Scheunenviertel in Mitte, a district in the centre of Berlin, documenting loneliness, sadness, misery and moments of happiness. Whether artists, workers, refugees or dreamers—she is both fascinated and repelled by the social mix and the harshness of the city. In her ruthless photographs, Berlin resembles a lost city, an archaeological site that is sometimes unexpectedly enchanting. At the same time, these urban forays are nothing more than excursions into the inner, unfamiliar world of the artist. A closer look reveals them to be metaphors of social criticism that not only have the former GDR in mind but also the entire civilization.