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The Polaroids
Sibylle Bergemann

The Polaroids
Sibylle Bergemann
Hatje Cantz
English, German

Texts by Jutta Voigt


144 pages
197 x 216 mm
ISBN 9783775728430


The late, great German photographer Sibylle Bergemann (1941–2010) always pursued her own artistic path. Even her earliest works, for the East German fashion magazine Sibylle, were like brilliant flares of colour amid the uniform Socialist grey. Her later portraits, photojournalism, and travel photography—most of them in colour—continued to concentrate on the realities of life and were printed in leading magazines around the world. Bergemann’s Polaroids occupied a very special, personal place in her oeuvre. In these pictures, the artist captured things that are basically impossible to catch—the beautiful moments that will not linger. This moment is as temporary as the medium in which the contours are shown. They are dreamlike, delicate images, created to fight the way that humans forget, and they avoid any sort of categorisation in terms of time and space.

About the Artist
Sibylle Bergemann contributed to East German periodicals of the time, Das Magazin and Sonntag, in the early 1970s, her photographs started to appear in the women’s fashion magazine Sibylle where she soon developed her own style. Her portraits were not analytical but rather descriptive, showing people as they appeared in real life. She moved on from fashion to photograph first her own country, East Germany, and later the rest of the world. In 1990, together with Ute Mahler and Harald Hauswald, she founded the Ostkreuz agency, which now represents a score of photographers. Perhaps Bergemann’s most important legacy is the series of black-and-white photographs she took of everyday life in East Germany as it evolved over the years. Later, she compiled photographic reports about New York City, Tokyo, Paris and São Paulo.

About the Publisher
Hatje Cantz publishers are committed to this motto more than ever – with our accustomed high quality we remain faithful to the standards set by Gerd Hatje: premium books that are produced in close collaboration with artists and curators. Our profile has always been shaped by tradition and avant-garde from all over the world. We present our program in a bilingual preview catalogue, in which masters of the twentieth century such as Paul Klee, Paul Gauguin, and Eva Hesse meet contemporary artists such as Michael Borremans, Gerhard Richter, and Filip Dujardin.

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