Voll das Leben! Retrospektive

Harald Hauswald

From raucous, flamboyantly dressed punks to hippies and kissing couples in a sea of Trabi cars, to militant banners and protestors on Alexanderplatz in East Berlin: the figures sketched with light in Harald Hauswald’s authentic, tender photographs bear witness to the day-to-day realities of East Germany. The photographer was especially interested in capturing urban development in East Berlin as well as the activities of oppositional groups and various youth subcultures, all circles in which he himself moved.

Hauswald laid bare the contrast between life in decrepit cities and the inner emptiness concealed behind the laboriously constructed facade of the communist state. His black-and-white photographs alternate between an enchanted, playful intimacy and a sharply satirical, dispassionate gaze.

This retrospective presents over 250 photographs taken from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, selected from Hauswald’s extensive body of work. His images are placed in dialogue with the contents of the file kept on him by the East German secret police, the Stasi, over a period of more than twelve years.