THE POLITICS OF BOOKS — PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANNETTE KELM AT THE SALON BERLIN

THE POLITICS OF BOOKS — PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANNETTE KELM AT THE SALON BERLIN

The book burning of 1933 is one of the darkest chapters in German history: on Bebelplatz in Berlin, the Nazis destroyed works they considered “un-German” including books by key writers of the 19th and 20th centuries such as Kurt Tucholsky, Rosa Luxemburg and Alfred Döblin. In her exhibition “Annette Kelm: Die Bücher” at the Museum Frieder Burda’s Salon Berlin, the Berlin-based photographer focuses on those writings, which embody the liberal, urban zeitgeist of the 1920s and 1930s. For Kelm, they are not just artefacts, but the works of a burgeoning avant-garde. The cover to Döblin’s “Berlin Alexanderplatz” mixes typography with comic elements, while Tucholsky’s “Learn to laugh without crying” plays with the images and colors used by propaganda that went on to be redeployed by the advertising industry. The covers of these works, published between 1913 and 1944, show the humor and ingenuity of an entire generation that defied the totalitarian regime to the end. Their overarching question of what is German – and how art and expression can remain free – remains pertinent today. (Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Photos: Thomas Bruns & Museum Frieder Burda, Salon Berlin, flyer & view of “Annette Kelm. Die Bücher”, courtesy of the artist und König)

Annette Kelm – Die Bücher: 12.05–24.10.2020
Museum Frieder Burda’s Salon Berlin, Auguststr.11–13, 10177 Berlin–Mitte; map
Tue–Sat 12–18h – you can book time slots for your visit online.

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