Ute Mahler (* 1949 in Berka) is among the most stylistically influential photographers from East Germany. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall, she and other chroniclers of life in the East founded Ostkreuz, the successful photographers’ agency.
Mahler’s explicitly humanist view of the world defines her work as both an artist and as a fashion and portrait photographer for magazines. Over forty years ago she began her series Zusammenleben (Living Together), which subtly captures the ways that people experience everyday life, while revealing what is insinuated but left unsaid. Her black-and-white photographs are gentle yet unflinching depictions of life in former East Germany.
In 1988, sensing that she had seen enough, Mahler stopped gathering images showing innumerable variations of the constellations of men, women, children, friends, and strangers that she repeatedly encountered. Now her images—true testimonies of a past era—are being published for the first time in book form.