Art

The Photographer Sibylle Bergemann

Since the establishment of the GDR the state exert influence on the arts and cultural sector. An important photographer, which got to feel this state control several times, was Sibylle Bergemann, who nevertheless succeeded to find her own artistic path in the GDR and to go it beyond all limits. by Melanie Alperstaedt (6 Mar 2014)

Since the establishment of the GDR the state exert influence on the arts and cultural sector. An important photographer, which got to feel this state control several times, was Sibylle Bergemann, who nevertheless succeeded to find her own artistic path in the GDR and to go it beyond all limits. Her photos tell stories; stories of East Berlin people, from their daily lives, deep and melancholic, real and sometimes critical, but always pure and beautiful – the story of a city.

 Sybille Bergemann is a photographer, who knew Berlin like no second. She was born in Berlin in 1941 and had worked first two years for the magazine “Das Magazin” (“The magazine”) as a secretary, before she began her training as a photographer in 1966. She completed this training with the photographer and university teacher Arno Fischer, who later became her husband.

From 1969 the photos of Sibylle Bergmann come out in weeklies and from 1973 in the fashion and women's magazine of the GDR per se, “Sibylle”. Furthermore she works for book publishers and presents her photos for the first time in Berlin as part of a solo exhibition in the “Haus der jungen Talente” (“House of the young talents”) in 1974. 1977 the asked photographer join the “Verband Bildender Künstler”  (“Association of Artists”) of the GDR and 1994 she become member of the “Akademie der Künste” (“Academy of arts”).

Bergemann documented the everyday life in East Berlin with a certain view for naturalness and with patience for the photo in the right moment. With her photo documentation about the construction of the “Marx-Engels-Denkmal” (“Marx-Engels-Monument”) behind the former “Palast der Republik” (“Palace of the Republic”), which she accompanied photographically between 1975 and 1986, she became known. Also in her fashion photography she shows the pristine and uses the unadorned facade of East Berlin as backdrop for her recordings.

The common apartment of Bergemann and Fischer near the station Friedrichstraße served international and GDR photographers as place of meeting and creative exchange. Her contacts to the internationally working photographers enabled her first departures out of the GDR, inter alia to Italy and the USA.

The imaged photo grew up in a hotel room in New York in 1984. There is evidence of Bergemann’s talent to transport with a few picture elements a lot of emotions and create a not staged photography, which captures the naturalness as transience of the moment for eternity. Her travels led Bergemann almost around the world and her photos were published in innumerable reportage magazines.

After the “Wende” she established in 1990 with six other photographers the agency “Ostkreuz”. Sibylle Bergemann succeeded with her empathetic travel pictures, portraits and photo galleries an unforgettable artistic work, with which she became a photographer of international reputation as well in the GDR as after the “Wende”. Sibylle Bergemann died in November 2010 at the age of only 69 years to cancer.

The rights to the text and pictures are with ISA Auctionata Auktionen AG.

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