In 1945 Germany’s cities lay in rubble. The ruins of architecture offered the opportunity for a radically new way of building: the old was dusty and ugly, it stood for oppression, pomp and kitsch. Ornamentation became an architectural sin. All that changed in the 1960s; one visible sign being Wolf Jobst Siedler, Elisabeth Niggemeyer and Gina Angreß’ book Die gemordete Stadt. Suddenly the old seemed endearing, imaginative, poetic. The new was the image of dreariness: cubic forms, gridlike façades, idle green space. Harun Farocki’s film Stadtbild brings photographs together, and we hear from architectural and local historians, photographers and a writer about their relationship towards old and new post-war architecture, demonstrated through images of Berlin.
Stadtbild, Harun Farocki, BRD 1981, 45 min