Jeffrey Ladd’s Favorite Book from 2019

Berlin-Wedding, 1978 by Michael Schmidt.   Published by Koenig Books.

Before the arrival of his grand experiment Waffenruhe, Michael Schmidt was making books that, on their surface at least, appear to stay within the established lanes of photographic tradition. The success of his first book, Berlin Kreuzberg, launched an attempt by Schmidt to recruit other municipal offices around Berlin to commission illustrated books of his photographs. The only municipality to accept was Berlin-Wedding. Berlin-Wedding is described through documentary-style urban landscapes followed by portraits of Wedding’s citizens — both at work and home. Schmidt intentionally submerges his subject in flat, even light — devoid of contrast—so his photographs “…look like sludge that was there on that November day.” This reprint is a near-exact facsimile of the original 1978 book designed by Gabriele Franziska Götz. If you don’t have the original, now’s your chance to have this great book within arm’s reach.

Jeffrey Ladd is a photographer and writer living in Cologne, Germany. His first book, The Awful German Language, is being published by Spector Books, Leipzig. www.jeffreyladd.com