Thursday, May 21, 2009

Daniel & Geo Fuchs' STASI - Secret Rooms

The new issue of Aperture features some images from Daniel & Geo Fuchs' series STASI - Secret Rooms, an exploration of the now outmoded interrogation rooms and detention centers of the East German secret police. Matthias Harder writes:

"With STASI - Secret Rooms, the Fuchses portray one of hte final stations of a surveillance society: the imprisonment of political opponents of the Socialist system. But the rooms are empty; the victims and the perpetrators can only be imagined. The pictures spare us the steps leading up to the dissidents' arrests; the focus here is solely on the unspectacular aesthetic of functionary architecture. Some of the rooms in the series can be identified as interrogation chambers - one can only imagine how many confessions were extorted here, how many spirits broken."

Harder goes on to say:

"The rehabilitation of the East German justice (or injustice) system and its surveillance apparatus continues; the remaining Stasi files and methodically recorded wire-tapping logs are now available to the public. Even today, decades after Germany's unification, official and unofficial Stasi informers are still being exposed - though former East German spies are seldom legally prosecuted. With this series Daniel and Geo Fuchs have rubbed salt onto an open sore of recent German history while simultaneously contributing to its articulation and healing."

All photographs from the series STASI - Secret Rooms

All Images © Daniel & Geo Fuchs