Edited by Inka Schube, Sprengel Museum Hannover, texts by Till Briegleb, Christian Raabe, Inka Schube, graphic design by Mario Biehs, Sabine Schmidtpeter
2011. 160 pp., 76 color ills.
31.30 x 25.60 cm
Awarded with the international DAM Architectural Book Award 2011
Photographs on the historical architectural culture of eastern Europe’s urban landscapes
Whereas the West encounters the now-fossilized witnesses of planned economies and socialist modernism with skepticism, Roman Bezjak (*1962 in Slovenia) takes an impartial view of communist architecture. After producing prizewinning photo essays for GEO and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, for the past five years the artist has concentrated on traveling through eastern and southeastern Europe. Bezjak used a large-format camera to take photographs of residential buildings, institutions, hotels, and palaces of culture in familiar and foreign places—from Tallinn and Tirana to Dresden and Dnipropetrovsk. His series render a kind of archaeology of postwar modernism without nostalgically glorifying the former East Bloc, for he also makes visible the exploitation of utopia and its entry into everyday life. This publication thus captures a world threatened by demolition, parts of which—such as the Palace of the Republic in Berlin—no longer exist.
Exhibition: Sprengel Museum Hannover, June 22–October 16, 2011 | Robert Morat Gallery, Hamburg, January 21–March 17, 2012
About the Artist:
Roman Bezjak was born in Slovenia in 1962. He studied photography in Dortmund, Germany, and graduated at 27. Soon after, he became a freelance photographer for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Magazin and the German edition of GEO.
After nine years in the field, he made the transition to academic life and took on the position of photography professor at the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld. In 2011, he published a book called Socialist Modernism, and his work has been shown in an accompanying exhibition.
About the Publisher:
Hatje Cantz publisher are committed to this motto more than ever – with our accustomed high quality we remain faithful to the standards set by Gerd Hatje: premium books that are produced in close collaboration with artists and curators. Our profile has always been shaped by tradition and avant-garde from all over the world. We present our program in a bilingual preview catalogue, in which masters of the twentieth century such as Paul Klee, Paul Gauguin, and Eva Hesse meet contemporary artists such as Michael Borremans, Gerhard Richter, and Filip Dujardin.