Waffenruhe by Michael Schmidt
‘You can’t get lost in Berlin; you always end up at the Wall.’ Wim Wenders, Wings of Desire
In “Waffenruhe” Michael Schmidt brings together surprising combinations of images to express a generation’s dystopian sense of life shortly before the fall of the Wall. Schmidt evokes a world of ruptures and absences that eschews a confident, comprehensive point of view.
The images work with Schleef’s text to create a brusque, entirely individual perspective on the fragility of human existence.
“One cannot escape that in the divided city, even if one tries to ignore it. And it absolutely pervades the sense of Michael Schmidt’s book. The work’s very title, Waffenruhe – ‘ceasefire’, or literally, ‘fighting peace’ – implies an uneasy dichotomy, an unreal state of temporal stasis. And which sums up the sense of crazy unreality which characterises Berlin. The city is a living museum of 20th-century history. It is a memorial, an island stopped in time while the rest of the world moves on – still occupied by foreign troops, still ostensibly on a war footing. Despite the modernist architecture, the forced gaiety, the punks, and the vibrant art scene, the city remains locked in 1945.” Gerry Badger
Book review by Jörg M. Colberg on cphmag https://cphmag.com/waffenruhe/