Wild Wild Berlin – Photographs From Past Times

photo: Sebastian Mayer

Three photographers, three decades, three visions – that is the subtitle to a photo series about Berlin that brings back memories of its wildest times, subculture and underground scenes. Berlin is a city that is dynamic, fast and constantly changing. These photos are testaments to a rebellious and fascinating past.

The photographs of Miron Zownir  are just as radical as this city that embraces all kinds of extreme lifestyles and ideas. Born in 1953, he has always made big cities his object of desire, taking pictures of subculture in eastern Europe’s Metropoles and also given the people off the mainstream of Berlin a face. The isolation of capitalist West-Berlin in socialist GDR, the contrast between anti-capitalist subculture and materialist mainstream societal norms, the overload of art being produced, whilst not having the lobby or establishment. It’s those contradictions that fascinated him about the diversity of the city.

photos: Miron Zownir

Eva Otaño Ugarte documented Berlin’s 90’s in a conceptual manner that gives you a specific impression of that time’s atmosphere. The clashing of two worlds, two former political systems and cultures enhanced the development of new spaces for experiments in art, communication and subculture. A new, bigger freedom far off the former restrictions led to new ideas and innovations that Ugarte got fascinated by.

photos: Eva Otaño Ugarte

Photographer Sebastian Mayer, who is also a painter, makes portraits of the city and the people, who live here. His lively shots of parties gives an authentic impression of Berlin’s nights. He also documented a time in which the shift of subcultures into established institutions has become noticeable. Artistic styles, events and the underground that developed out of nothing were brought into sight of paying customers and made into commercial happenings. Berlin became more and more popular through this and subculture became part of its touristic sites.

“Boy From Brazil”, St Kilda’s Trips Drill, Berlin 1999

photos: Sebastian Mayer

The union of all three photographers gives a full view on past times. Those of us who haven’t been here to live those days in Berlin can catch up on the wild times of our city vicariously through the lens of these three artists. The wildness of Berlin is far from gone and more current than one might think. But political events, changes and societal shifts are happening all the time and keep this city in a constant state of wild chaos and relentless transition.

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<a href="https://www.iheartberlin.de/author/valerie/" target="_self">Valerie</a>