Ortszeit / Local Time GMBH, Edition Axel Menges & KOPPELKAMM, Stefan & DERENTHAL, Ludger
Text in English and German. After the wall between the two German states fell in 1989, during an economic standstill, it was possible to visit places in East Germany where time seemed to have stood still. Stefan Koppelkamm, graphic and exhibition designer, author and photographer used this historical moment to photograph buildings and townscapes in East Berlin and in other locations in the former GDR whose condition often pointed back to the time before the Second World War. His motives were curiosity about a country that was largely unknown beyond its own borders and the desire to capture in images a condition that would soon disappear. Between 2001 and 2004 Koppelkamm visited the same places again and captured their current state from the same viewpoint. The photographs were taken with a large-format camera and make it possible to read all the traces time has left in detail, revealing the dramatic social and economic changes that have taken place in the last fifteen years. Comparison of the two points in time will differ according to the viewer's biographical perspective. Something that seemed strange to the photographer has been transformed into something apparently familiar. Viewers who grew up in the milieu photographed may find that the converse applies. The title 'Local Time' is to be understood in the transferred sense: local time means that times are valid for different places that can often deviate from the actual time difference between two places by decades or more.