At the centre of the exhibition is the encounter between two artists who come from different worlds and have found an intense dialogue they developed through photography. Gundula Schulze Eldowy attracted attention in East Berlin with her multifaceted socio-documentary approach to photography and her unsparing yet sensitive nude portraits. On the other side of the Iron Curtain, the Swiss-American photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank. After their meeting in 1985 in East Berlin, a life-long friendship develops, despite the Berlin Wall and the continents that separate them.
The exhibition traces Gundula Schulze Eldowy’s artistic path from East Berlin to New York, where in 1990 she spent three years at the invitation of Robert Frank. There she met numerous artists from Robert Frank’s circle of friends: his wife, the artist June Leaf, the photographers Ted Croner and Ann Mandelbaum, the writer Allen Ginsberg as well as other representatives of the beatnik generation.
The references to Robert Frank and the myth of New York can be read in the over 200 photographs in the exhibition. Excerpts from the correspondence between Schulze Eldowy and Frank complement the photo show. In a video art installation by filmmaker Helke Misselwitz, the correspondence is presented as a diptych and projected onto two screens.
Keep a Stiff Upper Lip! Gundula Schulze Eldowy and Robert Frank
25 January to 1 April 2024
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
Opening: 24 Jan 2024, 7 PM