Berlin in a Dog’s Night. Gundula Schulze Eldowy

20. January until 19. May 2024

Blackbox #13

Gundula Schulze Eldowy says that Berlin made her a photographer. She shows how Berlin was back int he days in her series of pictures “Berlin in einer Hundenacht” (Berlin in a Dog’s Night), which she took between 1977 and 1990 in East Berlin. For the first time, the series will be on display in its entirety at the Bröhan-Museum.

The former capital of the German Democratic Republic (DDR), where Schulze Eldowy lived and photographed at the time, was very different from the chic ‘Mitte’ district of today. The artist’s pictures show a city scarred by war, traces of times gone by and unrenovated houses. The photos show people coming to terms with this situation, organizing their everyday lives, going about their daily chores, doing their work and recovering from it.

Gundula Schulze Eldowy, who studied photography at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig from 1979 to 1984, was in her early twenties when she met these people and accompanied them into their backyards and into their homes.

The photographs she took during these encounters tell stories of people whose living conditions are often shaped by deprivation or loss – whose biographies mirror the political developments of the 20th century. By not turning her gaze away when she encounters poverty, despair or loneliness, she captures the realities of life of those from whom – then as now – the gaze is often deliberately averted.

In the photo series “Berlin in einer Hundenacht”, Schulze Eldowy documents everyday life in East Germany, which is at odds with the often idealized images of socialist society and with which she took offence in the former GDR. Over the last thirty years, these images have touched people all over the world. Photographs by the Erfurt-born photographer, who was born in 1954, have been shown in numerous exhibitions and can now be found in important international collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

She came to New York in 1990 at the invitation of Swiss-American photographer Robert Frank and stayed for three years. Today, Gundula Schulze Eldowy lives and works in Peru and Berlin.

Advertising motif: Gerwin Schmidt under use of Gundula Schulze Eldowy’s “Berlin 1987” from “Berlin in einer Hundenacht” © by Gundula Schulze Eldowy

Exhibition notice:
“Keep your ears to the ground! Gundula Schulze Eldowy and Robert Frank”
Exhibition at the Akademie der Künste, 25.1. – 1.4.2024
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