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Zelle/Cell.

Photographs by Arwed Messmer.
Hatje Cantz, Berlin, Germany, 2016. In English and German. 160 pp., color illustrations, 9¾x13½".



Publisher's Description

On February 27, 1975, Peter Lorenz, a Christian Democratic politician in West Berlin, was abducted by the Bewegung 2. Juni (June 2 Movement). Today, when one enters key terms into an Internet search engine only one image appears that is (still) embedded in collective visual memory. It features Peter Lorenz in a photograph reproduced many times as a victim in his cell. However, a body of about three thousand negatives has survived, hidden in an archive. They were produced within the scope of investigations by Berlin’s state security and also include the documentation of a meticulous reenactment by the police featuring the original materials used to build the basement space. Unlike the events that took place during Germany’s fall of terror in 1977, this abduction ended without bloodshed.

In his artistic work, Arwed Messmer places the images in a relationship to one another through a series of decisions concerning material, size, detail, and placement. In doing so he makes them accessible visually and links them with his own photographs in a nonlinear narrative.


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