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In From the Cold
After the Wall opened, I continued to visit Berlin as Germany reunified, and the city began, fitfully, to knit itself together. I photographed the former no man’s land of the Wall, the ruins and the rebuilding of Potsdamer Platz. Berlin is now one city, though as always a multi-centered metropolis. Its divisions remain evident, historical fault lines exposed—and the Wall, preserved in a few slabs here and there, remains a powerful artifact of the imagination.
In the summer of ‘85 I made my first trip to Germany, flying from New York to Frankfurt with my 4x5 view camera. I rented a VW hatchback and began a journey along the great political fault line of the last half of the twentieth century. Within four years the Cold War was over, and the fences and walls that extended from the Baltic to Adriatic Seas were dismantled.
Moving away from the man-made structures of the urban landscape, which I had become accustomed to photographing, I found pictures in the brambles, marshes, and forested tracts of the city park system. It is often a tough unpicturesque nature that prevails--if it had a personality--disdainful of well ordered vistas and the idealized sublime. For a number of years in the 1980s it was my secret garden hidden in the heart of New York.
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