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One of the most significant German photographers to emerge in the 1960s, Michael Ruetz, born in Berlin in 1940, first became known through his photographs of the student protest movement. After studying Sinology, Japanology and journalism in Freiburg and Munich, he transferred to the Free University of Berlin in 1963. There he began to work on his doctorate in Sinology and at the same time witnessed the first actions leading up to the student revolts. Fascinated by all this, Ruetz began to record the events with his camera, making his first important works in 1964. As he was located in Berlin, it was possible to travel extensively in East Germany, and there the young photographer gained insight into official and private life in the GDR through his photographic work.
His photographs of the APO (extra-parliamentary opposition), now part of German photographic history, were immediately bought up by major newspapers and magazines in Germany and abroad, such as Time, Life, Der Spiegel and Stern. In 1968 Michael Ruetz covered the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops and reported for Stern on the military dictatorship in Greece. He later accompanied François Mitterand on his election campaign, visited Chile after the victory of Salvador Allende and reported on the war in Guinea-Bissau and on many other international events.
After spending several years in America and Australia, Michael Ruetz began to concentrate increasingly on cultural-historical and documentary projects, such as the exploration of the "visual world" of such figures as Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe and Theodor Fontane. An extensive study of the phenomena of European Necropoles followed. His documentation projects Second Sight, Timescape and The Perennial Eye
A catalogue accompanying this exhebition has been published. (price DM 48,-, electronic mail order)
A similar virtual photo exhibition exists for "End and Beginning".