Memory grids: Forgetting East Berlin in Krass Clement’s Photobook Venten på i går. Auf Gestern warten (2012)
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Memory grids: Forgetting East Berlin in Krass Clement’s Photobook Venten på i går. Auf Gestern warten (2012)In the article, I argue that by means of qualities intrinsic to the medium of the photobook, the renowned Danish photographer Krass Clement (b. 1946) constructs a complex narration, which, on the one hand, seeksmeta-refl ection on the relationships between photography, memory, and the perception of reality, and, on the other, explores the post-GDR condition of Berlin and Germany. Venten på i går. Auf Gestern warten (Danish and German for “Waiting for yesterday”) includes both old and contemporary images, in both colour and black-and-white, but the book is neither (n)ostalgic nor documentary. Rather, I insist that Clement’s project epitomizes memory work and that its guiding principle can be understood through Rosalind Krauss’ concept of the grid. Th e grid is here inseparable from photography’s relation to memory and reality. I explore how the dialectics between remembering and forgetting, inherent to photography, is enacted by the book, and how it foregrounds the opaqueness rather than the transparency of the medium and perception. I also present how the universe constructed by Clement unfolds within the three temporal dimensions suggested in the title of the book: a present (post-ideological) suspension between the future and the past.
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