Berlin Mitte: Explorations of an Urban Conversion, is a photo essay compiled of 260 photographs taken by former city planner and freelance photographer Ulrich Wüst, who has focused on the urban transformation of Berlin over the past 30 years.
Checkpoint Charlie, 1999
Courtesy Ulrich Wüst
From the essay by Matthias Flügge:
At the end of the 70’s, Ulrich Wüst’s photographs turned up in exhibitions and occasionally in publications. It was the beginning of the late era of the GDR, and photography had just begun to emancipate itself from the holds of propangandistic photojournalism and move toward an art form. For a while the cultural climate in the East, as a result of political possibilites, permitted a kind of visual truth with a limited sphere of influence…The East German cities carried the scars of war longer than those of West Germany because their strategies of forgetting were different. What they shared, however, was the destructive inclination for the so-called »new«. Ulrich Wüst was among those who also visually defined it within the category of loss.
Note: This text was culled from the book “Berlin Mitte,” with photographs by Ulrich Wüst, text by Wolfgang Kil, and an afterward by Matthias Flügge; published by Verlag der Kunst Berlin, Dresden 1998. This book was part of curator Kasper König’s international art project for the energy supply company Bewag’s new thermal power station building.