The moving images with and about the photographer Michael Schmidt show the artist in different phases of his life and offer information on the classification of his work.

In the film tour, curator Thomas Weski leads us through the exhibition in the Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, which was on view from 23 August 2020 to 17 January 2021. Since the entrance had to be partially closed due to the corona, the curator’s tour can be made up for here.

The 1989 film portrait “Michael Schmidt – Border walks” looks at the artist’s work from 1964 to 1988. Schmidt himself reflects on his creative phases, provides insight into his artistic working methods, talks about role models and the influence of American photography on his work. The film also traces Schmidt’s path in his “Werkraum Berlin”, which ceased to exist a short time later due to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Important players in the art world comment on his artistic work from the early photographs of the first publications to the currently decisive and nationally and internationally highly regarded group of works “Ceasefire”.


In the video (only in German), author and curator Maren Lübbke-Tidow talks to visual artist Laura Bielau. Laura Bielau was Michael Schmidt’s assistant for many years, witnessed the creation of the work groups “Foodstuff” and “Nature” and worked with Thomas Weski on the curation of the Michael Schmidt retrospective. She provides insights into the photographer’s working method and explains factors that influenced the quality of Michael Schmidt’s works. In addition, the artist reports on her encounter with the work group “Berlin after 45”, on her own artistic work and what effect the collaboration with Michael Schmidt had on her work.


In this video (only in German), the author and curator Maren Lübbke-Tidow talks to the artist Andrzej Steinbach. Andrzej Steinbach talks about his role model Michael Schmidt in his student days and why the work group “U-ni-ty” still holds a special fascination for him today. He formulates approaches to interpreting individual works by Schmidt and explains what influence the artist’s book “U-ni-ty” had on his personal artistic development.


In this film (only in German), the author and curator Maren Lübbke-Tidow talks to the artist Thomas Florschuetz. Florschuetz explains about his first meeting with Michael Schmidt in East Berlin during GDR times, about parallels in his own and Schmidt’s work and the fascination of the “Waffenruhe” group of works. He explains why the series “Frauen” is closest to him and what influence it might have had on fashion photography at the time.


In the video (only in German) with the artist Maria Sewcz, the author and curator Maren Lübbke-Tidow talks about Michael Schmidt’s group of works “Waffenruhe“. Sewcz explains how her work “inter esse” was created at the same time in GDR Berlin and how, despite not knowing each other, they feel a strong kinship. She provides insight into the artist scene of the 1980s in the east of the city and tells what impression Michael Schmidt made on them when they first met.


The archive talks on the Michael Schmidt retrospective provide background information and insights into the artist’s life. In this film, Maren Lübbke-Tidow talks to the writer, art critic and curator Kirsty Bell about Michael Schmidt’s group of works “Berlin after 45“. Bell, whose Berlin book “The Undercurrents” was published in March, describes the architecture in southern Friedrichstadt, the significance of the district, its creation and destruction. She describes the unreal state of the neighbourhood when Michael Schmidt photographed there and explains what this place has to do with the city’s coming to terms with trauma.


In the video (only in german), Maren Lübbke-Tidow talks to the artist Tobias Zielony about Michael Schmidt’s work groups “Waffenruhe” and “U-ni-ty“. Zielony describes his special relationship with Schmidt and the influence he had on his artistic development. He explains his closeness to the Waffenruhe series and why Schmidt’s grey, for him, looks like colour.


In the filmic archive talk (only in german) with Maren Lübbke-Tidow, the artist Laurenz Berges describes his friendship with Michael Schmidt. He explains how Schmidt approached the world photographically and which shared experiences remain unforgettable for him. Berges sheds light on the effects of birthplaces on artistic development processes and paints a picture of the added value that serial works can have.


In the archive talk (only in german) with Maren Lübbke-Tidow, the artist Gosbert Adler outlines his long-standing relationship with Michael Schmidt. He reports on why Schmidt’s images initially generated resistance and what hierarchies prevailed in the Werkstatt für Photographie. Adler explains the influence of the Wedding work group on his own work and why programme combined with discourse can be formative for photography students.


In the interview (only in german) with Maren Lübbke-Tidow, curator Thomas Weski describes working together with Michael Schmidt. He reports on how he got to know him and served as his sparring partner. Weski describes the genesis of the Europe-wide tour of the Michael Schmidt retrospective, what surprises came to light and why the future is inherent in the Michael Schmidt archive.