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Manfred Hamm, the Berlin Wall, Ancient Site of Tomorrow


“Pioneer and master of architectural photography” according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel, Manfred Hamm, born in 1944, became famous with his shots of industrial buildings with the allure of cliches  of contemporary archeology in which humanity disappeared: “the ancient sites of tomorrow”. Manfred Hamm does not like the digital. For him, the magic does not happen without this process. His secret, patience and his life-long friend, his Plaubel camera . A photographic work in search of an aestheticism, perfectly lit and framed with care and precision.

Manfred Hamm is one of the photographers who knows Berlin best. In December 1976, he left on a project to photograph the tomb of Théodor Fontane and found himself before the insurmountable obstacle that was the Berlin Wall. He then decided to take this obstacle as his subject. Starting in 1976, Manfred Hamm went to document the Berlin Wall, that changed little by little for him in some sort of theater set with its graffiti and its surprising motifs, as, for example, the horse that had no idea of the menacing character of this deadly structure. His photographic work is  as a documentary made  by an “ethnologist”.

“I always wanted to be an ethnologist,” says Manfred Hamm. “But one of my professors dissuaded me because I was too romantic.” Manfred Hamm knew how to capture moments of history during this time , adding his love declaration to the capital of Germany and his contribution to this historic upheaval. Manfred Hamm put an end to his photographic work when Kodak stopped the production of the  films very dear to him, which gave a photographic depth never achieved with any other films.


Manfred Hamm, Die Berliner Mauer
Exhibition ended December 17, 2016
Galerie Charron
43 rue Volta
75003 Paris

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