"Though these picture appear like magnificent modern paintings, they are in fact a deeper unconscious social artistic expression of an urban re-development that historical events since the Gründerzeit have fermented and brought to the surface."
Robert Polidori, New York, 2014
Harf Zimmermann, born in Dresden in 1955 and raised in East Berlin, grew up among the wasteland and ruins that remained in many European cities as part of the urban landscape long after the end of World War II. In his monograph BRAND WAND, published in 2014 by Steidl Publishers, the photographer describes the barren walls of Berlin both as a “sea of bricks” – and as a “testimony to catastrophe and failure”. His friend and colleague, photographer Robert Polidori, in his text to the book, writes: “Over time, I’ve come to realize that these images are really the visual background chorus of Harf Zimmermann’s life history ... Harf has personally lived through all of the changes Germany has experienced over the last sixty years. When we consider the unfolding of that uneasy history, we see that it is not a sequence of consistent progressions, but rather an evolution of breaks and discontinuities punctuated by cataclysms”.