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Explorations of Transience

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Existential questions of the human condition are central to the work of renowned auteur photographer Manfred Paul. In the course of three extensive trips to Romania (1978), Paris (1988) and India (1989), the German photographer captured images that serve as parables for the fact that everything in life is fleeting. At the same time, they reveal to what extent political and societal conditions can be reflected in the artist’s view of the world. The exhibition ‘The Long Journeys’, presented at the Haus am Kleistpark until May 31, 2023, marks the first time these images are showcased in Berlin.

For Manfred Paul  (b. 1942), photography is a means of arriving at his own truth. His images, therefore, are not merely testimonies of specific places at certain points in time, but also illustrate the artist’s constant attempt to find a suitable form of expression of his personal experience. In Romania, for example, he employed classic compositions to document a reality that would soon disappear. His Parisian scenes, on the other hand – recorded with his first Leica camera – tell of his novel encounter with a highly consumerist urban environment, whereas in India, his primary concern was to do justice to the decisive moments of life and death to which he had borne witness.

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