An did research on the urban imagining in 1920s Berlin. Through a close analysis of the Berlin photobook her study aims to point out the tensions surrounding photography and its interplay with the 1920s city.


a workshop organized by An Paenhuysen and Andres Zervigon, Jan. 27 - 28, 2011, ICI Berlin

The Weimar years are widely considered to have been marked by a flourish of media optimism, particularly with regard to photography. But to what extent was the era’s great creativity in these media a result of misgivings as well as enthusiasm? This Workshop aims to outline these countervailing tensions circling around photography. It will offer a series of substantive case studies in which photography, either as a practice or paradigm, failed to accommodate the multifaceted complexity of modernity and therefore required far more invention, including an appeal to the non-visual senses. Considering these turbid but productive pressures on photographic media, we will inquire into the repressed side of modern looking in Weimar culture.

When was vision obstructed, space made ethereal, and the eyes shut by media that were supposed to in fact enhance perception? How much did photography’s failure in these regards contribute to the near desperate efforts to reinvent the medium as a new and different form of vision? And how did this productive tension impact other media which had studiously attended to photography as their model? These are the questions our workshop will bring to the radically unsettled photographic image of Weimar.

Articles (selection)

'Berlin in Pictures: Weimar City and the Loss of Landscape', in: New German Critique, 109, Winter 2010, 1-25.'

'Tucholsky, Heartfield, and Germany, Germany Above All', in: History of Photography, 33, 2009, 1, 39-54.

'Laszlo Willinger's 100 x Berlin',: Cahier Fotografie, 2009, 1, 55-66.

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