Caught: The Art of Photography in the German Democratic Republic
University of California Press, January 1998
Hardcover in dustjacket
19.7 x 23.5 cm
Behind the Iron Curtain, against all odds, photography secretly flourished as an art in the German Democratic Republic. The author writes of East Germany from 1945 - four years before the socialist nation was officially carved out of the former German Reich - to 1989, when the dictatorship fell and 40 years of isolation ended. Analyzing how Walter Ulbricht and Erich Honecker harnessed the power of photography to shape and reflect the paradigmatic Marxist state, Kuehn reveals how this very same process inadvertently helped nurture individual creativity and the "silent revolution" of the 1980s. "Caught" offers an appraisal of the artistic, social and political evolution of the GDR through the eyes of the participating photographers. It is an intimate portrayal of a people "caught" in the conflicting dicatates of ideology, artistic oppression, a troubled national past and basic human desires.