Doppelte Ökonomien. Vom Lesen eines Fotoarchivs aus der DDR (1967–1990)

Organizer: gta Ausstellungen
Date: Thursday, 11 April 2013 to Thursday, 23 May 2013 Mo-Fr 8 a.m.-10 p.m., closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
Location: ARchENA and Architekturfoyer, HIL, Hönggerberg, ETH Zurich

Wednesday, 10 April 2013, 6 p.m.; Auditorium E3, HIL, Hönggerberg, ETH Zurich

Between 1967 and 1990, freelance photographer Reinhard Mende was commissioned by the GDR Kombinate – industrial groups in the German Democratic Republic – to produce an archive comprising some 19,500 photographs. They both document and dramatize scenes of production in the GDR’s people owned companies, and depict exhibitions of products at the Leipzig International Trade Fair. The leading venue for East-West trade at the time, the fair was an economic space that had two sets of ties: socialist in its production and capitalist in its presentation of consumer goods. Taking the archive as its starting point, the transdisciplinary research project Double Bound Economies developed contemporary artistic and spatial positions as well as historical and theoretical analyses. Its collective method resulted in a polyphonic dramatization of the archive that opens up a range of potential readings. At its core is a central question: what forms of articulation can we use to grasp the contradictory yet interlinked nature of socialism and capitalism? These approaches prove especially productive when addressing present-day issues. The exhibition at the ETH Zurich brings together a selection of images, complemented by contributions from artists, background materials and video interviews. The accompanying publication includes both new texts and reprints of seminal essays.

An exhibition by Estelle Blaschke, Armin Linke, Doreen Mende, Berlin in collaboration with the chair Philip Ursprung, ETH Zurich and the Institute gta


Doppelte Ökonomien
Vom Lesen eines Fotoarchivs aus der DDR, 1967–1990

Edited by Doreen Mende, Estelle Blaschke and Armin Linke;
Design by Werkplaats Typography, Arnhem
21 x 29.7 cm, 448 pages, softcover, German and English
spector books, Leipzig, ISBN 978-3-940064-46-2, CHF 45.90/Euro 36.00


Supported by:
Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Stuttgart; Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe; Kuehn Malvezzi Architekten; Stiftung Federkiel, München; Werkplaats Typografie/ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, Arnhem (NL)

With special thanks to the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (D)


Invitation card