Memory grids: Forgetting East Berlin in Krass Clement’s Photobook Venten på i går. Auf Gestern warten (2012)
Languages of publication
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.
- F. Chaubin, CCCP. Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed, Taschen, Köln 2011; R. Polidori, Zones of Exclusion. Pripyat and Chernobyl, Steidl Books, Göttingen 2003; A. Bartos, Kosmos: A Portrait of the Russian Space Age, with an essay by S. Boym, Princeton Architectural Press, New York 2001. On photography documenting traces of deterioration in urban space, see M. Michałowska, Foto-teksty. Związki fotografi i z narracją, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, Poznań 2012, pp. 345–363.
- S. Rifb jerg, “‘Det var det, jeg sa’”, interview with K. Clement, Weekendavisen no. 2, January, 1, 2015, Kultur, pp. 1, 8–9 (all translations from the Danish – AEM).
- H. Belting, An Anthropology of Images. Picture, Medium, Body, translated by T. Dunlab, Princeton University Press, Princeton 2011, p. 146.
- K. Clement, Venten pa i gar. Auf Gestern warten, Gyldendal, Kobenhavn 2012, 135 pages.
- M.D. Richardson, “A World of Objects. Consumer Culture in Filmic Reconstructions of the GDR”, [in:] J. Fisher and B. Prager (eds.), Collapse of the Conventional: German Film and Its Politics at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, MI, USA, 2010.
- R. Gade, “Halting, Without Halting: Krass Clement’s Drum”, [in:] K. Clement, Drum, Errata Editions (Books on Books series), New York 2012 [unpaginated].
- A. Kuhn, “A Journey Through Memory”, [in:] Memory and Methodology, ed. By S. Radstone, Bloomsbury Academic, Oxford, New York 2000, p. 186.
- R. Krauss, “Grids”, October, vol. 9 (Summer 1979), pp. 50-64.
- A. Huyssen, Present Pasts. Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory, Stanford University Press, Stanford 2003, p. 54.
- M. Sandbye, “Frie og ufrie mand”, Weekendavisen no. 29, July, 18, 2014, Kultur, p. 7.
- H. Bergson, Matter and Memory, trans. N.M. Paul and W. Scott Palmer, MIT Press, New York 1991, p. 133.
- M. Augé, Oblivion, trans. by M. de Jager, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, London 2004, pp. 22–3.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plattenbau (accessed: January 28, 2015).
- http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/mar/07/crimea-putin-vs-reality/ (accessed: January, 1, 2015)
- P. Ricoeur, Memory, History, Forgetting, trans. K. Blamey & D. Pellauer, University of Chicago Press, Chicago & London 2006, pp. 418–48.
Publication order reference