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Social documentary photography made in GDR

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The images presented in Ludwig Schirmer’s exhibition ‘Mensch-Maschine’ were taken in the GDR during the 1960s and 1970s, in a variety of locations ranging from heavy industry factories to processing sites. The primary focus is on the relationship between man and machine: the juxtaposition gives rise to a visual tension, which Schirmer skilfully emphasised with the application of artificial lighting.

Ludwig Schirmer (1929 – 2001) was a successful advertising photographer in the GDR. However, the images presented in this showcase were largely unknown – until his daughter Ute Mahler, who is also a photographer, discovered them after her father’s death.

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