Arwed Messmer & Annett Groeschner – Aus Anderer Sicht / The Other View
Hatje Cantz – 2011
It was not until the seventies that the Berlin Wall started looking like the white concrete swath that has been burned into collective memory. Before that, it consisted of brick walls, dog patrol areas, and barbed wire fences. Around 1965/66, soldiers from the East German border patrol took pictures of the inner-city wall over a length of about forty kilometers, producing more than one thousand views of West Berlin. Photographer Arwed Messmer (*1964 in Schopfheim) digitally reconstructed these images to create about three hundred panoramas, and author Annett Gröschner (*1964 in Magdeburg) supplied them with captions. Supplementing these captioned photos are portraits of soldiers, snapshots, and reports of escape attempts, which together recall everyday occurrences along the border. Contributions on the architecture and metamorphosis of the Wall over time, its literary treatment, as well as on the importance of the project for the history of photography throw light on the fascinating worlds of associations of a structure that symbolizes the perversions of the twentieth century like no other. The project is supported by the Federal Archives, the German Federal Cultural Foundation, and the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship.