Fotofobia #7: Anno Dittmer / Flashbacks 1981 – 1988 West-Berlin (Fotofobia, 2015)






“He is there where the movers and shakers of the scene go to meet, in locations such as the legendary SO36, the punk bar Risiko or the Gesamtkunstwerk of Penny Lane’s Frisörsalon. Dittmer portrays them gracefully in black-and-white: for example, Rat-Jenny, who attained notoriety after attacking the artist Martin Kippenberger with a broken beer bottle – or Nick Cave, giving concerts in West Berlin and partying at the Risiko. Punk-poet Blixa Bargeld is there, working behind the bar in the days before „Einstürzende Neubauten“ could make a living from music. Wolfgang Müller was influential at the time with his post-punk art band „Die Tödliche Doris“, and later published his memories in the book „Subkultur Westberlin 1979-1989“.


In 1983, Dittmer exhibited his work at Penny Lane’s Frisörsalon in the same way as he would later in the Risiko: He copied them with a Xerox machine and glued them onto the wall with wallpaper paste. Copying made the photos more interesting, he says. They became ultra-harsh, eliminating the gray tones, leaving only the skeleton. After the exhibition, the photos can only be torn away: „I didn’t want them to take on a fetish character“. They have that today, at the latest: After 30 years of mythification of a bygone era, documented so vividly in Dittmer’s images that you feel like you are right there while looking at them.” Sabine Weier