7 August 2019

Helga Paris, Photographer
Retrospective featuring 275 works at the Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz
Opening on Thursday, 7 November 2019, 7 pm
Press preview on Wednesday, 6 November 2019, 11 am

From 8 November 2019 to 12 January 2020 at its exhibition halls at Pariser Platz, the Akademie der Künste will present the photographic work of Helga Paris from 1968 to 2011. Featuring 275 works, including many individual images and series that are to be shown for the first time, this will be her most comprehensive exhibition to date and the first retrospective of the artist in her home city of Berlin in 25 years. Excerpts from the extensive Leipzig, Hauptbahnhof (1981), Moskau (1991/92) and Mein Alex (2011) series will be seen for the first time, among others.

In addition to the photographer's special ability to make ever-changing compressed contemporary history tangible in her images and series over the course of decades, it is her tender, graceful and heavily nuanced black-and-white modulations expressing social empathy that make her work unmistakable.

Helga Paris was born in 1938 in Gollnow, Pomerania (today Polish town of Goleniów), and grew up in Zossen near Berlin. She began her work as a self-taught photographer in the 1960s. She became one of the key chroniclers of life in East Berlin with images of her neighbourhood in the Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg, pictures of pub-goers, sanitation workers, the women from the VEB Treffmodelle clothing factory, artists, punks, children from Hellersdorf and passers-by from Alexanderplatz. Helga Paris also took photographs in Transylvania (1980), Georgia (1982) and the city of Halle (1983–1985), where she produced her Diva in Grau series that was banned from being shown until 1989/90, as well as in Volgograd (1990), New York (1995) and Poland (1996/97), among others. Helga Paris has been a member of the Film and Media Art Section of the Akademie der Künste since 1996.

The curator of the exhibition is art historian Inka Schube, who has worked with Helga Paris on numerous occasions. Filmmaker Helke Misselwitz will present an installation involving interviews with Helga Paris on the topics of origin, the changing city and her work as a photographer in East Germany and up into the early 21st century.

On the occasion of the exhibition, the Spector Books publishing house, Leipzig has released the photography book Helga Paris. Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, 1981.

An exhibition by the Akademie der Künste in cooperation with the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), with the kind support of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung that allowed the living legacy to be indexed and new prints of three previously unpublished series to be made, as well as the DEFA -Foundation.

Exhibition information
Helga Paris, Photographer
Duration of the exhibition: 08 November 2019 – 12 January 2020
Tue – Sun, 11 am to 7 pm
Admission € 6/4, free admission for under 19s and on Tuesdays from 3 pm
Tickets: Tel. +49 (0)30 20057-1000, ticket@adk.de, www.adk.de/tickets 
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

Exhibition opening on Thursday, 7 November 2019, 7 pm
With Jeanine Meerapfel (President of the Akademie der Künste), Klaus Lederer (Berlin Senator for Culture and Europe), Ellen Strittmatter (ifa, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) and Inka Schube (curator)

Press images in brief below: https://www.adk.de/en/press/pressmaterial.htm