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Last Updated August 23, 2017

Ostkreuz. The exhibition of the German photographic agency

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Ostkreuz_exhibition Trastevere museum
The retrospective tells the story of the OSTKREUZ agency , founded in 1990 in Paris by photographers from East Germany and today the most popular photographic collective in Germany. On display there are over 250 photographs of 22 photographers, from the works immediately following the collapse of the Wall up to the present day.


In the spring of 1990, seven East Berlin photographers sat at a Café du Marché table in Paris, the Wall fell shortly, and in Germany still divided, nobody still imagines the evolution of events. Photographers are in town at the invitation of Mitterrand to attend an exhibition that brings together the major DDR artists; Among them Sibylle Bergemann, Harald Hauswald, Ute Mahler and Werner Mahler. In mind they have the example of Magnum Photos, of which some members know, and now, all gathered in Paris, they decide to set up their own agency. They call it Ostkreuz, using the name of a metropolitan railway station that connects East Berlin with the whole city, a way to convey their activity that, starting from the east, can finally take place in all directions.

The exhibition, inaugurated in 2015 in Paris, the city where the agency was founded, was born to celebrate the 25 years of Ostkreuz activity and was also exhibited at Schwerin, Munich and Gera (Thuringia). Starting with a careful look at Berlin, its change and its contradictions in the 25 years following the fall of the Wall, the shots focus on the violent eviction of East Berlin occupied homes and the interiors of the West Highlands apartments: Polaroid Of the period when the city changed its face almost daily and images where the Stasi spectrum still seems to be floating.

It also shows the look of photographers on the world: from the heavy metal story reportage to the portrait of the International Court of Justice, passing through historical events such as Prague Spring or the Revolution in Egypt.
Finally, there are also images that escape to a precise placement, such as archetypal family photos that could be collected on any album, or objects and situations that are difficult to decipher.

The 250 images in the exhibition offer a complete, varied and sometimes detached view of Germany and Berlin, a glance that always stimulates new reflections and discussions, as Gabriele Kreuter-Lenz, general director of Goethe-Institut in Italy, argues Great interest and the special charm that the images of Germany of different epochs have always aroused above all in young people.

Overall, photos on display reproduce a colorful mosaic of different styles and approaches, often characteristic of the time they were born, and are therefore representative of the development of photography in the last quarter of a century in Berlin and Germany, but also beyond These geographical boundaries.

Today Ostkreuz is the collective of most renowned photographers across Germany. Of its 21 members, many are award-winning, with half being women, some are West and others in the East. Their photos have been around the world and OSTKREUZ has become an important forum for photography that develops thematic exhibitions on socially more sensitive topics and hosts vivid debates on the future of this journalistic and artistic language. Ostkreuz in Italy is distributed by LUZ, a company active in the production and distribution of editorial content that was born in 2010 by the passage of witnesses by the prestigious Agency Grazia Neri.

Photographers: Marc Beckmann, Sibylle Bergemann (1941-2010), Jörg Brüggemann, Espen Eichhöfer, Sibylle Fendt, Annette Hauschild, Harald Hauswald, Heinrich, Holtgreve, Tobias Kruse, Ute Mahler, Werner Mahler, Dawin Meckel, Thomas Meyer, Frank Schinski, Jordis Antonia Castles, Ina Schoenenburg, Anne Schönharting, Linn Schröder, Stephanie Steinkopf, Mila Teshaieva, Heinrich Völkel e Maurice Weiss .

The exhibition is part of the "FOTOLEGGENDO" Festival Circuit.

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Interesting images from a range of photographers
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I visited the Museo di Roma in Trastevere last week. They were running a couple of exhibitions, this one showing images from photographers from the German Ostkreuz photographic agency, and a smaller one on the first floor with images from Italian photographer Italo Insolera.
My daughter and I particularly liked the Ostkreuz exhibition. It had a great range of photographic subjects and styles on display. Well worth a visit.

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