Monday, August 06, 2007

Somewhere/Anywhere

© Michael Schmidt, All Rights Reserved

Michael Schmidt, one of Germany's preeminent photographers, has worked quietly for over twenty years documenting the social and political landscape of Germany. Well-known for his ground breaking works, Waffenruhe (1987) andEIN-HEIT (1991), Schmidt's work explores the long-term social and political scars of WWII and the division of Germany. Schmidt recently released a new book entitled Ingendwo (2006), which roughly translates as Somewhere/Anywhere. In this new work, Schmidt explores the small nondescript provincial towns of Germany. Carefully sequenced and grouped, the portraits, landscapes, architectural details of the book present, as Schmidt states, a portrait our subjective loss of “home as a place with identity.” Suffused with a sense of inconsolable emptiness and alienation, Schmidt's work presents a powerful portrait of modern Germany and contemporary life.

Home says nothing to me. In any case, home is what you carry with you, inside you. You remember places because you spent the most wonderful or the most horrible time there during your childhood. But these places have become more arbitrary, less specific . . . There is no such thing as an objective category that one might call ‘home’ any more. Such things take place subjectively nowadays. - Michael Schmidt


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