Arwed MessmerFor some years now I have been working with photographs of recent historical events that I usually find in state archives. Unlike historians and journalists, I am not interested in using these photos to illustrate the past. Instead, the pictures themselves are the theme of my work. What can they tell us about circumstances at the time they were made? How does our view of them, and of details, change with historical distance? What are the energies behind standardized photographs taken for specific purposes? I explore and analyze strategies of visualization and I make decisions about how to present these. I want to create new ways of reading images.

All of these projects focus on events in recent German history. Each project involves between one and two years of work before I am ready to find an appropriate way of presenting the material in exhibition spaces and in books

Arwed Messmer