Hufelandstrasse, 1055 Berlin is Harf Zimmermann’s 1986–87 portrait of the people and places of Hufelandstrasse, a bustling neighborhood street in the heart of communist East Germany. Inspired by Bruce Davidson’s East 100th Street (1970), his radical depiction of life on a block in East Harlem, Zimmermann set about documenting Hufelandstrasse where he also lived at the time.
For over a year, Zimmermann photographed almost daily on the street with his large-format camera, patiently asking shop-owners and residents if he could take their picture. Hufelandstrasse was then home to a cross-section of citizens of the German Democratic Republic, as well as many family-run stores and workshops―from bakeries and cobblers, to a pet shop and even an atelier for repairing women’s stockings―an uncanny concentration of private business which had otherwise been fazed out by the communist state. This book comprises black-and-white outdoor photos of buildings and groups of people, as well as a number of more intimate color images of families in their apartments. Hufelandstrasse, 1055 Berlin is an historical document beyond nostalgia of life under a regime in agony.
During the decline of the German Democratic Republic I felt like the final witness who was able to see and capture everything for the last time, before it would disappear forever―which has not happened, as we know. I spent the days on the street with my plate camera, and nights in my private realm, my “kitchen darkroom.” Harf Zimmermann
Hufelandstraße: 1055 Berlin
Hardcover: 152 pages
Publisher: Steidl (27 July 2017)