Restless Bodies
East German Photography 1980 — 1989

April 8 — June 19, 2022
National Gallery of Art in Lithuania

Thirty-three years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, what do we know about East German photography?

The exhibition, Restless Bodies East German Photography 1980-1989, curated by Sonia Voss and initially conceived for the Rencontres d'Arles 2019 (Corps Impatients Photographie Est-Allemande, 1980 - 1989), is currently on display at the National Gallery of Art in Lithuania from April 8 to June 19, 2022.

This exhibition focuses on the final decade of this large and too little-known chapter of history through the prism of the body. Its aim is to show how, within an authoritarian state based on the negation of individuality, physical confinement, surveillance, and normativity, photography was a medium through which artists were able to express the singularity of their lives and their relationship with their bodies, revealing a powerful inner sense of freedom. Following three decades of documentary and humanist photography, a more subjective, hybrid language started to emerge in the early 1980s. Without disowning the legacy of their predecessors, photographers distanced themselves from their subtly critical empathy to confront social taboos and give substance to the men and women of their time.

Marginalized or unified, staged, or self-performed, dreamy, introspective, or explosive bodies express the life boiling over from under the cover of repression, the solitude of the individual at the heart of the collective, the irreducible subject.

Tina Bara (1962), Sibylle Bergemann (1941-2010), Kurt Buchwald (1953), Lutz Dammbeck (1948), Christiane Eisler (1958), Thomas Florschuetz (1957), York der Knoefel (1962-2011), Ute Mahler (1949), Eva Mahn (1947), Sven Marquardt (1962), Barbara Metselaar Berthold (1951), Manfred Paul (1942), Rudolf Schäfer (1952), Gundula Schulze Eldowy (1954), Gabriele Stötzer (1953), Ulrich Wüst (1949).
  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture