Andreas Gehrke’s (Noshe to his friends) new book, Berlin, presents a portrait of a city many of us thought we already knew.
His portrayal of Germany’s much-documented capital makes the history of its urban spaces as readable as its distinctive visual qualities. In an extraordinarily intimate way, his photographs lay bare the radical upheavals, discords and new beginnings that have shaped Berlin so uniquely.
In his images, Gehrke finds a balance between built and evolved space, between undefined locations and those loaded with significance. He shows us the in-between spaces and details of monumental architecture shoulder-to-shoulder with everyday buildings and spontaneous vegetation. Gehrke’s Berlin isn’t a coffeetable volume of a capital city or a cosmopolitical examination of hometown, it is a personal and artistic exploration of the multilayered metropolis that more or less became the city it is by accident.
Gehrke spent six years looking more closely at the city he was born in, capturing an aesthetic identity far removed from familiar, hackneyed viewpoints. The resulting Berlin, together with his preceding publication
Brandenburg, completes a double volume of sorts that defies prevailing notions of documentary
photography. In Gehrke’s photographs, the supposed contrasts between the urban and the rural, the loud and the quiet, the hectic and the calm, seas of houses and lake-filled landscapes are no longer antithetical. Instead, through subtle allusions, they draw our attention to the structural and social changes in both locations. In this way, Berlin and Brandenburg complete and complement one another.
Embossed hardcover with tipped-in image
192 pages / 102 images
24 × 29 cm
Edition of 500
(German / English)
With an accompanying essay by