Andreas Gehrke – Brandenburg
“In principle, the area surrounding Berlin is quite beautiful. The environs of few other German cities possess such a rich character. It emanates an austere allure which, almost Japanese in its subtlety, often leaves a profound impression. But time and again it also appears unfamiliar, and looms rather than it pleases.”
Karl Scheffler, Berlin—The Fate of a City, 1910
In his latest book, Brandenburg, Andreas Gehrke composes a considered portrait of the sparsely populated state that encircles Berlin. A region that has been described as bleak, austere and unforgiving, Gehrke’s Brandenburg is marked by moments of incongruity. Drawn to the undefined, the seemingly desolate, he depicts places characterised by transition, absence and indeterminacy.
For over six years Gehrke worked on this project. Consistently renouncing notions of pure documentary photography, his images never make outward reference to historical shifts and processes. Instead they form a series of subtle allusions to the structural and social changes that have befallen Brandenburg in recent decades. Using formal photographic means he imparts each image with a sense of dignity and aesthetic rigour, inviting the viewer to linger over his detailed compositions.
With this publication, Andreas Gehrke has produced a document that transcends the realm of temporality. Brandenburg isn’t a depiction of ‘home’: it examines the aesthetic identity of the region from a detached, analytical perspective. Gehrke’s photographic study is complemented by an essay on landscape by the Swiss sociologist and founder of promenadology, Lucius Burckhardt.