We’re familiar with it from the fall of the Berlin Wall: everything goes extremely fast, while at the same time, moments are constantly coalescing that literally freeze time through the force of historic importance. On the other hand, recording things for posterity is part of the photographic everyday, performed today on the cell phone. Robert Herrmann’s tools are simple and at this point more or less historic: a mechanical medium-format camera, black-and-white film—but infinitely richer. Yet not endlessly so, because the exposure time is exactly sixty seconds. Always, everywhere. The result is a survey of Berlin, part of the dance of the world’s big cities. Time redefines the relationship between architecture and people, because a minute is more than just a moment. A person has to stand very still in order not to become a photographic blur. In relation to a day or a month, a minute can seem negligible. But if he or she moves within this time, the image can no longer record them; they vanish before the city backdrop. Thus, a person only has an effect as part of a crowd, which in these images does not vanish. As we saw in 1989, in Berlin.
Text by Andreas Kesberger