Within And Beyond the Wall00000000000000000000000000000  
  Within and Beyond the Wall is a recent-historical and contemporary photography exhibition which focuses on Berlin from the late 1950’s through the period of the Wall (1960-1989), and into the Berlin reconstruction (1990-2002).
  Barely a whisper has been heard about this immensely significant period of German, European and world history.
  The Berlin Wall represented the physical and psychic divide between the former Communist East and the West. The Wall was the quintessential symbol of the Cold War. Nine renown Berlin photographers who lived Berlin’s recent history have captured intimate observations during this 45-year period.
  Their photographs are profound personal statements from Within and Beyond the Wall.
  The exhibition opened at Harbourfront, Toronto in the Spring of 2004 during Contact Canada's largest photography festival. The Harbourfront Centre hosts over 1 million visitors a year. Within and Beyond the Wall has been the most extensive collection of German photography yet exhibited in Canada.  
  For exhibition specifications, please click here.  
To view selected images from each photographer in the exhibition, please select from the directory below.
  Amin El Dib
selected images
Amin El Dib’s photographs taken during the period of the Wall contain nothing about the Wall itself. His photographs focus on friends and acquaintances whose lives were impacted by the 106 kilometers of concrete and steel that altered world history. One may or may not suggest that the intensity of Mr. Amin’s subjects with their animals have threads linked to the Wall and it’s consequences. “Amin El Dib began his work of individuals and animals series in 1988 (a year before the Wall opened). His portraits of individuals with their house pets were taken in the home settings of his subjects.
Mr. El Dib’s photographs bring elements of classical portraiture which are unsettling through his placement of the people and animals.” Bordering on irony, the photographer's point of view reveals the ambivalent relationship between humans and other animals. El Dib writes: “The relationships in which animals and humans coexist within our civilization are numerous but one-sided. We use animals as substitute partners, as children and therapeutic aids. We eat them and clothe ourselves in their remains. We use them for science and industry. We use them as a last remnant of nature, for cuddling, as status symbols, sexual objects, and we use them to avoid loneliness”
“El Dib explores the deeper relationships between man and animals and attempts to avoid cute portrait clichés. Roles in front of the camera have been assigned democratically. Sometimes the animal looks into the camera with a dignified expression, and sometimes El Dib allows the person to play the dominant role. In both cases the photographer has perhaps a indifferent function. His images seem cool and observed with distance, which for me is the key to their particular quality.”
Amin El Dib was born in Cairo, Egypt and move to Duisberg, West Germany in 1966. He came to Berlin in 1983 and graduated from the Technical University in West-Berlin where he studied architecture. He has exhibited his photographs in Trieste (Italy), Cario, Alexandria (Egypt), Duisburg, Krefeld, Munich, Hamburg and Berlin. Mr. El Dib’s work is collected by the Berlinische Galerie, Museum Fokwang in Essen and the Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg, Halle/Saale in Germany. Mr. El Dib’s projects incude collaborations with Theater Artaud, “Acht Bilder” (1993-95), a Holocaust theme; “Empty Rooms”, a theme about artists conditions of work, and “CutFlowerPictures” (“SchnittBlumen Bilder”) where he examines the appearance of nature in the artificial world of civilization. Amin El Dib is a member of the DFA (German Academy of Photography). He moved to Basel Switzerland in 2003.

  Dietrich Oltmanns
selected images
My wanderings through East-Berlin in the 1980s were marked by an atmosphere of depression and absence. Everything that constituted society or the public as a whole seemed to be non-existent and submerged by the system in which I was living. We experienced both East Germany's lack of economic power and political propaganda designed to conceal the facts. We also experienced a monotonous self-affirmative government and the dilapidation of the public space.
These gulfs became an everyday normality that was hard to bear. Sometimes life under these conditions assumed traits of the absurd. For many friends and acquaintances leaving the country for good was the only solution though they suffered additional strain and risk in doing so. In my view these conditions were also reflected in the gestures of the people. My own gesture was to photograph in the streets. We East-Berliners were a peculiar mixture of reserve, resignation and defiance. Looking back, the mental images of those times are already beginning to fade. Perhaps some traces may be found in my photographs.
Dietrich Oltmanns was born in Leipzig and came to Berlin in 1991. He graduated from the Technical University of Ilmenau (then the GDR) studying cybernetics, and biomedical engineering. He was co-editor of the Samisdat (underground journal) Zweite Person where he secretly published the journal to avoid discovery by East-German authorities. He has been the recipient of an award from the Kulturfonds Foundation and he has been artist in residence in Dessau and at Kunstverein Röderhof. Mr. Oltmanns has exhibited in Leipzig, Cottbus, Munich, Berlin, Dessau, Zossen, Glashütte, Dresden, Stralsund, Chemnitz, Ludwigshafen, Kecskemet, Wünsdorf and Röderhof. His work has been published in numerous publications since the late 1980’s. Mr. Oltmanns has been a freelance photographer since 1983 and lives in Lindenbrück and Berlin.

  Kai-Olaf Hesse
selected images
My earlier projects looked at a world of visual codes. Images in Berlin is an attempt to provide a personal interpretation of new images and codes in the process of their genesis, rebirth and re-interpretation in Berlin. My choice and composition of images is intended to reveal the context of known and now reinterpreted copies of Berlin sites from the past and to confront this observation with a new Berlin. Berlin's new symbolism ranges from synthesis and ‘idealising preservation’ such as the re-staging of historic buildings and city icons to the insidious pseudohistory of new and old boulevards. These ideas present a blunt architectural interpretation of the term facade.
The images reconstruct fictitious realities and even dispose of their own history to create exclusive business addresses. What made the stage-like building site of Berlin so attractive in the 1990’s was the aura of a new beginning. This atmosphere of accomplishment is not its own past or legend but the spell of grandeur and short-term, blind, constructivist ideas. On closer inspection many of the computer-simulated ideals of architects and town planners appear to be a mirage especially as it is now possible to view half-finished buildings. The real dimensions of these half-finished buildings contains the cherished hope of a new democratic architecture that has now developed from normality to absurdity. Was the wrapping of the Reichstag by Christo in 1995 no more than a dress rehearsal for the images of the new city/republic? This work intends to explore and reflect upon these connections.
The work also focuses on the meaning (or lack of meaning) of symbols and places in the city as a historical monument. My work attempts to acquire a new analytical perspective through the language of photography. 
Kai-Olaf Hesse was born in Wittingen (Lower Saxony) and came to Berlin in 1998 after living in the U.S. for two years. Mr. Hesse has worked and studied in Hamburg, Essen (Folkwang), Dessau (Bauhaus), Leipzig and Melbourne. He is a DFA member (Deutsche Fotografische Akademie). He has been published in more than 9 books and his work is collected in Houston, Stuttgart/Berlin (IFA), and Dessau at the Bauhaus. Mr. Hesse has exhibited in Belfast, Athens, Seoul, Singapore, Prague, Berlin, Cologne, Thessaloniki, Torino, Leipzig, Houston and Braunschweig.

  Wolfgang Ritter
selected images
The division between the Soviet and the Western- Allies Sectors of Berlin followed historical borders that made the Wall boundary irregular. When the Wall was erected in 1961 a small but odd section of East-Berlin was left unfenced; a no-mans-land with nothing much more than rubble; and apparent wasteland from WW2. This tiny section was ironically accessible from West-Berlin only; East-Berliners risked being shot if they tried to enter. The area was called the Lenné Triangle. West-Berlin authorities did not have sovereign rights there and it soon became a paradise not only for nature but for people who were delighted by fast growing trees, rare plants and places for private retreat.
Many enjoyed this little site that had no established authority. In 1988 the tiny paradise came to an abrupt end when the triangle was sold to West-Berlin. Immediately police moved in and clashed with protesters in a unprecedented incident. Young demonstrators who wanted to cling to their refuge saw no other way out and climbed over the wall into East-Berlin. Rather than being greeted by machine-gun fire they were treated to sausages and coffee before they were escorted back to West-Berlin.
The refuge however disappeared as bulldozers brought the little green sanctuary to an end. Wolfgang Ritter’s photographs serve as a memorial to this unique ‘spot’ in the history of the Wall.
Wolfgang Ritter was born in Berlin-Reinickendorf and moved to Berlin-Mitte (East-Berlin) in 1948. He worked as a saddler, welder, transport worker and night-watchman. He then finished school and studied to become an educator and social worker to help improve the living conditions for young people. He also attained degrees in adult education majoring in psychology and sociology at the Berlin Free University. In 1977 Mr. Ritter studied photography with Michael Schmidt and Ulrich Görlich in the "Werkstatt für Fotografie" at the VHS Berlin- Kreuzberg. Mr. Ritter has a diversified photography background organizing exhibitions and exhibiting his ow n b o d i e s o f wo r k . He has been an editorial photographer and brought photography to disadvantaged youths. Mr. Ritter has produced numerous bodies of work and he has exhibited in Berlin, Munich and Arles. 

Hansgert Lambers
selected images


“Coming to Berlin in 1957 was a peculiar experience. In West Germany WW2 started to be forgotten and the ‘economic wonder’ had begun. Berlin had a lot of ruins and open spaces then; the environment was drab. The city, pre-wall was lively but it was less so in the Soviet Sector where Berliners were noticeably poorer. The erection of the Wall in 1961 came as a shock. The British, American and French sectors were not only cut-off from West Germany but disconnected from East-Berlin and East Germany... an “outpost” as the western allies called it. Everything was heavily supported by West Germany because West-Berlin was meant to be a showcase for the Western style of living.
The East Germans watched this on TV. West-Berlin was a large dynamic city with the secure feeling of a village. The avantgarde existed together with provincialism. West-Berlin students and other young people were happy that they did not have to serve in the army.
Once a year the Western Allies paraded their ten or so tanks on show. It was a pleasure to live on this Western island behind the Iron Curtain on Communist territory however the reality of the curtain of iron and concrete was always present.” – HANSGERT LAMBERS 
Photographer/publisher Hansgert Lambers was born in Hannover, West Germany and graduated in engineering and economics from the Technical University in West-Berlin. He began photographing in Berlin in the 1950’s. In 1978 he became the owner of the Print Photo Gallery in Worpswede near Bremen, exhibiting James Van Der Zee, Rostislav Kost•l, David Goldblatt, Hans Mende and Jan Svoboda. In 1986 Mr. Lambers established the publishing house expose verlag which has published over 50 titles and focuses on Eastern European photographers; Christian Borchert, Viktor Kol•r, Vilém Reichmann, Sigurd Maschke, Kurt Buchwald, Joachim Richau, Sergej Vasiljev, Wolfgang Bellwinkel, Gino Puddu, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Kai-Olaf Hesse and others. In 1992 Mr. Lambers was elected as a member of DGPh (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie). He has exhibited in London, Hannover, Berlin, Klimkovice/ Ostrava and Tallinn. His phootgraphs have bee opublished in Creative Camera and Photo-news. His monographs include: Strassenbekannt-schaften (street acquaintances) 1986, and Mein Berlin 1957-1961, published in 2000. His work is in the collection at the Moravsk• Galerie, Brno, Czech Republic. Mr. Hansgert Lambers lives in Berlin.

  Christian von Steffelin
selected images
Since moving to Berlin in 1993 I was fascinated by the city and its incredible atmosphere of departure from the past. There were enormous contrasts and juxtapositions between the old and the new. In the beginning I photographed freely and without the handicap of ‘goal and content’ though I did begin documenting Berlin’s urban spaces. Over the years different topics grew from my Berlin explorations. Every topic developed and grew into a different project: public places, building demolition, renovation of former GDR (East German Democratic Republic) buildings and ministries.
I also created projects on foundation stones, construction finales and inauguration ceremonies of new buildings. My photo documentary work covers ten years of ongoing change in Berlin. My work describes the progress and transformation of a complex urban organism and at the same time focuses on the topic of impermanence. The the work I am presenting entitled - “Zwischenzeit” (Interval) shows deserted urban places, interiors and buildings in demolition. I see demolition as a phase of transience. I hope to finish this documentation in 2005 for an extensive book and exhibition.
This work is a journey through a decade of my life. It is a story made of pictures which tell about disappearance, re-creation and the replacement of a past by something new. This story made of pictures is asking: Berlin? For me this is a question. 
Christian von Steffelin was born in Karlsruhe and has lived in Berlin since 1993 where he works as a freelance photographer. His studies include graphic design at the Fachhochschule Hannover and communication-photo design at the Fachhochschule in Hamburg. Mr. von Steffelin studied under the renown Canadian photographer, the late Douglas Clark. Mr. von Steffelin has exhibited in Munich, Hamburg, Hannover, Berlin, Essen (Museum Folkwang), Prague, Singapore and Eastbourne, (GB). His work is found in private collections and has been purchased by the Bundesrat and Deutsches Historisches Museum. Mr. von Steffelin’s work is widely published.

  Karl-Ludwig Lange
selected images
My photography does not serve esthetic purposes; instead I am concerned about how a city functions. When I take a photo of a certain situation in town it is because at the very moment the scene for me seems to be the sum of all street experiences.
I live in an environment where I attempt to identify myself; where the past and the present stimulate my perception so strongly at times that it evokes an image. I consciously avoid colour photographs because colour often stirs emotions first and moves the factual into second place. 
Karl-Ludwig Lange was born in Minden (Westphalia, West Germany) and moved to West Berlin in 1967. Since 1973 Mr. Lange has worked mainly in series such as: 1981 “Gasometer Schöneberg” (Berlin gas works); 1982-1984 “Neo-Gothic Architecture in Berlin”; 1983-1984 “Berlin-Wedding” (a Berlin district); 1981-1986 “Reconstruction of the Martin- Gropius-Bau”; 1993 “Bricks and Brickmaking in Brandenburg”; 1997-1998 “The River Elbe from Torgau to Werben”. Selected exhibitions include: 1975 Galerie Nagel, Berlin; 1982 Galerie Eva Poll, Berlin (Group Ex.); 1983 Kunstverein Munich (Group Ex.); 1984 Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin; 1992 Lebendiges Museum, Berlin-Wedding; 1995 Kulturamt Berlin- Friedrichshain; 1997 Galerie in der Brotfabrik, Berlin; 1999 Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (Group Ex); Selected publications include: 1983 “Grosstadtdschungel”, München; 1984 K.-L.Lange “Berlin Bauwerke der Neugotik”; 1986 “Das Tiergartenviertel”, Berlin. Mr. Lange lives in Berlin.

  Ulrich Wüst
selected images
“More important perhaps than the things Wüst actually does are the things he avoids. He is plainly untainted by any social-psychological dogma which claims that the social life in the older residential areas (of Berlin) is basically intact. Nor has he been influenced by American urban photography (Lee Friedlander, Stephen Shore), which sees a specific challenge to the photographer’s innovative power in the complexity of lanes, planes, structures, and vanishing lines. Wüst does just the opposite: he seems to trust the visual quality of the found site; he orients his framed view according to the object until the connection simply steps into place. Wüst knows he is registering the past world…
However the past world is grasped not as an idyll, but as a stratum on which something else has settled. The crucial point is that Wüst has no sentimental relationship to decay.” Ulrich Wüst’s Notizen (Notes) result from spontaneous reactions with his rangefinder camera on his daily walks. These impressions came from Wüst’s private nature and were initially collected for his personal visual diary. Mr. Wüst’s private views have now become well-publicized public evidence of the mid 80’s history of the GDR (former East Germany). – ENNO KAUFHOLD, BERLIN 1993 
Ulrich Wüst was born in Magdeburg, Saxonia-Anhalt (GDR). After graduating from the study of architecture in Weimar he moved to East-Berlin in 1972 where he worked as a city planner and began taking photographs. After five years Mr. Wüst left city planning and became picture editor for the magazine "Farbe und Raum". Mr. Wüst has produced a number of bodies of work that includes S-Bahn and Jewish Cemeteries; Photographic Surveillance of the Berlin District of Prenzlauerberg; Berlin-Mitte; and Magdeburg among others. He has exhibited in Berlin, Munich, Schwäb-isch-Gmünd, Paris, Kaunas, (Lithuania), Budapest, Bozen (Italy), Washington D.C., Prague, Saskatoon, Oslo, Leipzig, Torino, Dessau, Vukovar (Croatia), Essen and Frankfurt am Main. Mr. Wüst has been awarded grants which include awards from various German public institutions and the Helen Abbott Prize in 2000. His work has appeared in over sixteen major German publications. Mr. Wüst is currently a freelance photographer living in Berlin. 
  Barbara Metselaar
selected images




My photographs from East-Berlin the 1980’s are testimonies about a society under a socialist dictatorship. ship. Many of my photographs responded to official propaganda and the censorship of media and usually took place in private spaces. My photographs come from my original exhibition GERMAN DANCES, (Berlin 1999) that focused on the official and private lives of citizens in Berlin, a city divided by the Wall. The title: SCHÖNE HEIMAT DDR/ BEAUTIFUL HOME GDR (German Democratic Republic) is contradicted by the image content. My photographs are about a society in which grey coloured the streets, buildings, clothing and shops. My photographs are meant to expose a very drab mode of life and I hope that they emit the effects of the daily brain-washing by the ever present political authority.
FESTE/PARTIES presents images from the very private lifes of some East German intellectuals and artists. To withdraw into privacy with friends and like-minded people was the only way to escape from the controlled society. The parties were sometimes held in advance of a friend or colleague who was about to flee beyond the Wall to the West. The people in the photos often appear to be happy, relaxed and even ecstatic. In reality the mood at those parties was unpredictable. It was a mixture of hope, despair and hysteria. Frustration and plenty of alcohol resulted in many outbursts and breakdowns. 
Barbara Metselaar-Berthold was born in Pleissa in the sourthern part of East Germany. She studied socialpsychology in Jena and photo-design in the Art Academy in Leipzig in the GDR (former East Germany). Ms. Metselaar-Berthold came to East-Berlin in 1976. In the 1970’s and 80’s she produced still photographs depicting life under the Communist regime. In the late 1980’s Ms. Metselaar-Berthold began work in film and video, winning a Silverdove Award at the International Documentary Film Festival in Leipzig. She has lectured in photography at the Academy for Film and TV in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Ms. Metselaar- Berthold has also exhibited at the Biennial of Photography in Amsterdam. She has exhibited in Berlin, Freiburg, Potsdam, Cottbus, Bonn and Rotterdam. Her work is collected by the Berlinische Galerie and Märkishes Museum in Berlin, and the Fotografische Sammlung Montzburg, Halle/Saale.


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