Fifty years of photographs by an urban planner known for his uncompromising critique of the former GDR
Ulrich W st (born 1949) trained as an urban planner and began photographing East German cities in the late 1970s. Today, his early work is widely recognized as a subtly formulated critique of social conditions in the GDR and one of the most important photographic records of the socialist state. Since the 1990s, he has expanded his practice to focus on the memory landscape of reunified Germany and the transformations of both city and countryside, particularly the villages and farming culture of Uckermark and other rural regions. In this first monograph on W st, Van Zante provides a context for his work in American and German urban photography and photography of place. Over 200 photographs are published here, many for the first time, including a selection of W st's distinctive leporellos of titled series. An interview with the photographer and an exhibition and publishing history are included.
Gary Van Zante is curator of the photography, design and architecture collections at the MIT Museum, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.