Michael Rutschky   
Unterwegs im Beitrittsgebiet (1-50) - view 1, 1989 / 1994, 50 hand prints b/w on ORWO barium paper, 23 x 30 cm

1943–2018 in Berlin (Germany)

In the spring of 1994, the Steidl Verlag published the reportage book Unterwegs im Beitrittsgebiet (Out and about in the accession area) by the Berlin author and photographer Michael Rutschky. In this book, Rutschky describes three trips to eastern Germany during the political upheavals of the late eighties and early nineties. He visited the German Democratic Republic in November 1989 shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. This was a time when everything suddenly seemed to be set in motion after decades of rigidity. In November 1991, shortly after reunification, he drove for a second time to the East. In the summer of 1993, a third journey finally took him across the “five new federal states”. Inserted into the text of the book, the author has around fifty uncommented black and white photographs, arranged in pairs on double pages. They form their own narrative thread. The places where the photographs were taken are listed in a picture index at the end of the book: unfinished “Gorbi” graffitti in Prenzlauer Berg, a street in the abandoned industrial district of Leipzig-Plagwitz, an abandoned apartment in Quedlinburg on the northern edge of the Harz or a mock castle made of scaffolding and motif tarpaulins under construction on the boulevard Unter den Linden in East Berlin. Sometimes the photographs themselves provide clues as to when they were taken, but sometimes the subjects seem to firmly oppose the idea of ​​temporality.