The meeting of photography and Germany evokes pioneering modernist pictures from the Weimar era and colossal digital prints that define the medium's art practice today. It also recalls horrifying documents of wartime atrocity and the relentless surveillance of East German citizens. Photography and Germany broadens these perceptions by examining photography's multi-faceted relationship with Germany's turbulent cultural, political and social history. It shows how many of the same phenomena that helped generate the country's most recognizable photographs also led to a range of lesser-known pictures that similarly documented or negotiated Germany's cultural identity and historical ruptures. The book rethinks the photography we commonly associate with the country by focus-ing on how the medium heavily defined the notion of 'German'. As a product of the modern age, photography intervened in a fraught project of national imagining, largely productively but sometimes catastrophically.
Photography and Germany covers this history chronologically, from early experiments in light-sensitive chemicals to the tension between analogue and digital technologies that have stimulated the famous contemporary art photography associated with the country. Richly illustrated with many previously unpublished images, this is the first single-authored history of German photography.
Andres Mario Zervigon is Associate Professor of the History of Photography at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. His previous books include John Heartfield and the Agitated Image: Photography, Persuasion, and the Rise of Avant-garde Photomontage (2012) and Photography and Its Origins (co-edited with Tanya Sheehan, 2014).