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The city. Becoming and decaying
© Thomas Meyer / Ostkreuz

The city. Becoming and decaying

Photography exhibition by Ostkreuz agency (Berlin)

Sibylle Bergemann » Jörg Brüggemann » Espen Eichhöfer » Annette Hauschild » Harald Hauswald » Pepa Hristova » Andrej Krementschouk » Dawin Meckel » Thomas Meyer » Julian Röder » Anne Schönharting » Frank Schinski » Jordis Antonia Schlösser  » Linn Schroeder » Ute Mahler und Werner Mahler » Heinrich Völkel » Maurice Weiss »

Exhibition: 20 Apr – 18 May 2013

ROSPHOTO. State Museum and Exhibition Centre for Photography

ul. Bolshaya Morskaya, 35
191186 Saint-Petersburg

The State Russian Museum and Exhibition Centre ROSPHOTO

ul. Bolshaya Morskaya, 35
191186 Saint-Petersburg

+7-812-3141214


www.rosphoto.org

daily 11-19, Tue, Thu 11-21

The city. Becoming and decaying
© Dawin Meckel / Ostkreuz

State Museum and Exhibition Centre for Photography ROSPHOTO

Goethe Institut Sankt Petersburg

German Week in St.Petersburg

The city. Becoming and decaying
Photography exhibition by Ostkreuz agency (Berlin)

20 April - 18 May 2013

The City. Becoming and Decaying by the legendary Berlin photographic agency, Ostkreuz, touches upon urbanization. For two years, 18 of the agency’s photographers travelled all over the world shooting contemporary megalopolises on various stages of their development. Some of these cities were in their heyday, others, on the contrary, were becoming deserted and decayed. The exhibition includes 176 of the best photographs made in 22 of the world’s megalopolises.

In 2008, Ostkreuz photographic agency in Berlin, founded in early 1990s by the Great Seven of well-known Eastern German photographers, started preparing celebration of its 20 year anniversary. The photographers planned to commemorate the milestone day by a large exhibition, but it seemed difficult to find the theme. The idea was brought about by mass media. In 2008 the record of urbanization was set in the world: for the first time in history it was estimated that urban population exceeds the number of people living in the country. The process began in XIX with industrialization and has recently reached an unprecedented scale.

Today, there are 25 megalopolises with over 10 million people population. Each day the total urban population of the world increases by 190 thousand new inhabitants, approximately two persons every second. The expansion is paralleled by reverse process: the existing cities degrading, diminishing, decaying or passing into nothingness.

The anniversary exhibition received the title The City. Becoming and Decaying and was dedicated to contemporary megalopolis and its inhabitants. It took two years to prepare this unique project, the agency’s photographers travelling around the world in search of interesting places that are representative of urbanization. There were no limits to the project participants in choosing country, city, methods and means of shooting. ‘It is rare that such freedom is given to photographer, - says Anne Schönharting, member of the agency.

The exhibition’s photographers visited the slums of the Philippine’s Manila considered one of the planet’s most densely populated cities, the deserted downtown of America’s Detrois, in the Ukraine’s Pripyat deserted by its population after Chernobyl nuclear power station accident, the ruins of Palestinian Gaza and Dubai’s skyscrapers. They explored Kangbashi, the Chinese phantom city with hundreds of empty towerblocks, and investigated the reasons for the failure of experiment with Indian Aurovile, the ideal megalopolis that was to become the community of free people living beyond politics. Beside the impressive cityscapes the photographs capture the portraits of city dwellers that reflect the urban history as much as do the busy or deserted streets.

Beside being an unusual tour guide, the exhibition is an outstanding art project, quintessential of the agency’s twenty years of work. Among the authors are the true stars of contemporary photographic art, for example, Sibylle Bergemann, the best known GDR fashion photographer who shot her models outside posh interiors, in a cityscape, or Harald Hauswald who was repeatedly called ‘enemy of the state’ in the East Germany.

The city. Becoming and decaying
© Jörg Brüggemann / Ostkreuz

Photographers in the exhibition: Sibylle Bergemann, Jörg Brüggemann, Espen Eichhöfer, Annette Hauschild, Harald Hauswald, Pepa Hristova, Andrej Krementschouk, Ute Mahler, Werner Mahler, Dawin Meckel, Julian Röder, Thomas Meyer, Frank Schinski, Jordis Antonia Schlösser, Anne Schönharting, Linn Schröder, Heinrich Völkel, Maurice Weiss.

Ostkreuz agency was founded in 1990 in Berlin by seven well-known GDR photographers: Sibylle Bergemann, Ute Mahler, Werner Mahler, Jenz Rötsch, Harald Hauswald, Thomas Sendberg and Harf Zimmermann. They followed the example of the French agency Magnum Photos. Publications in world’s best known press sources, cooperation with the world’s main information agencies and regular exhibitions at Germany’s largest exhibition venues turned Ostkreuz into one of the best known and respected agencies in the country. It currently employs 19 photographers all of whom hold national and international awards in photojournalism. Ostkreuz author’s work is published in Newsweek, Stern, GEO, New York Times magazines and in other mass media. The agency runs Ostkreuz school of photography where most of ist photogrpahers teach.

The city. Becoming and decaying
© Annette Hauschild / Ostkreuz
The city. Becoming and decaying
© Ute Mahler / Ostkreuz
The city. Becoming and decaying
© Frank Schinski / Ostkreuz