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German Photographer Exhibit At UAM

Published: September 2, 2014

Opening of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Dec. 22, 1989.

The University Art Museum (UAM)at CSULB, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut, presents “Barbara Klemm: Light and Dark,” an exhibition by the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), featuring 124 iconic black-and-white photographs by one of Germany’s most distinguished photojournalists.

Taken while on assignment for newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Klemm’s photos capture 40 years of cultural, social and political history in the formerly divided nation, creating icons of contemporary European history. The opening reception is Saturday, Sept. 6, from 6-8 p.m., and will be preceded by a gallery talk with co-curator Ursula Zeller, which will begin at 5 p.m.

Curated by German art historians Matthias Flügge and Zeller, both of whom worked closely with Klemm, the exhibition chronicles some of the most decisive events in German history, perhaps most memorably during the 1989 reunification of East and West Germany. Though the majority of photographs, which Klemm herself calls “action in condensed form,” were taken on assignment, she created a body of photographs which combines the documentary and the artistic in a manner seldom encountered in German press photography.

The exhibition will be on view from Sept. 6 to Dec. 14, the UAM hosting the exhibition on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (Nov. 9, 1989). As a supplement to the exhibition, the UAM will display artifacts and ephemera from the archive of Tom Frazier, a CSULB Geography professor and post-reunification Berlin scholar. Multidisciplinary programming will be offered throughout the semester in collaboration with CSULB faculty, scholars renowned in their respective fields.

The staff and board of the UAM gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions from the Instructionally Related Activities Fund, the Constance W. Glenn Fund for Exhibition and Education Programs, the Charles and Elizabeth Brooks Endowment for Exhibition and Education Programs and the Bess Hodges Foundation.

Educational programming for “Barbara Klemm: Light and Dark” is organized in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and the CSULB departments of English, Film and Electronic Arts, Geography and German Studies, and will include lectures and a film series. All events are free and open to the public. For additional information and a full list of upcoming events, visit the University Art Museum website.

The catalogue, Barbara Klemm: Light and Dark, Photographs from Germany, with Flügge’s insightful interview with Klemm, will be available for purchase in the UAM bookstore.

–Shefali Mistry