New York/Berlin


Unter den Linden (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

This is a 4×5 scan of an image seen previously. The grassy field is the site of the former Palast der Republik, East German government/cultural center. And before that, it was the site of the 18th century Stadtschloss, seen printed on fabric in the rear. The idea is to rebuild the facades of the older palace.


DDR Museum (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

The East German palace is gone–but not forgotten–and its glass facade has also been printed on fabric, hung on the structure of the temporary DDR Museum. There are such printed scaffold buildings all over Berlin.


DDR mural, Leipziger Strasse (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

Very real is this mural in the former air ministry building, which was dates back to the early days of the German Democratic Republic. Here’s some information from Wikipedia:

In 1950-52 an extraordinary 18 meter long mural was created at the north end along Leipziger Straße, set back behind pillars, made out of Meissen porcelain tiles. Created by the German painter and commercial artist Max Lingner together with 14 artisans, it depicts the Socialist ideal of contented East Germans facing a bright future as one big happy family. In fact the mural’s creation had been a somewhat messy affair. Commissioned by Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl, Lingner had had to revise it no fewer than five times, so that it ultimately bore little resemblance to the first draft. Originally based on family scenes, the final version had a more sinister look about it, a series of jovial set-pieces with an almost military undertone, people in marching poise and with fixed, uniform smiles on their faces. Lingner hated it (as well as Grotewohl’s interference) and refused to look at it when going past. With a degree of irony, the building became the focal point a year later of the Uprising of 1953 in East Germany.


East Side Gallery (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

I’ve only got a few more scans to work on from my recent trip to Berlin. The photograph above was the last piece of film I shot, and shows a bit of the remaining stretch of wall called the East Side Gallery near the Ost Bahnhof in former East Berlin. The Wall along here was painted on by various artists shortly after the Wall opened up in 1989. The image of Mstislav Rostropovich performing in front of the Wall at the center of the photograph is not one of the original paintings–but I like it.

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