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EVENTS

31.01.2020

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Evelyn Richter has always had an instinct for quiet, subtly symbolic moments. Her images emanate a feeling of melancholy and subdued wistfulness, without ever veering into the sentimental. A perfect example is her photograph of a cargo barge, slowly making its way along Spree River past Berlin’s Museum Island, while a father and son look on from the shore. The name of the boat is, of all things, Traumland: Land of Dreams, Paradise, Shangri-la. To today’s observer, this may seem like nothing more than a contemplative scene from fifty years ago. At the time, however, it would have been a painful reminder of the travel ban that prevented GDR citizens from crossing to the West. The photographer’s contemporaries would have been very conscious of how close these two protagonists were to the Berlin Wall – a proximity that extinguished any suggestion of wanderlust with a cold gust of regime-induced reality.  
The serene image, which is full of unspoken allusions and leaves much room for interpretation, epitomises Richter’s artistic domain. Many of her images could not be published until the dissolution of the GDR  – making their role as historical documents of these oppressive decades all the more significant.
It has been many years since the photographer, who was born on January 31 in Bautzen and now lives in Dresden, has picked up her Leica; but her work continues to be a window through which we may glimpse history.
We wish the photographer all the best on her 90th birthday!

Until May 3, 2020, the exhibition Focus Evelyn Richter continues at Dresdener Albertinum. Evelyn Richter was also presented as a Leica classic in LFI issue 6/2016.

(Ulrich Rüter)

Photo: © Evelyn Richter: Vor der Museumsinsel, Berlin 1972
© Evelyn Richter: Vor der Museumsinsel, Berlin 1972
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