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Progress as a Promise. Industrial photography in divided Germany

Dramatically lighted production halls, seemingly endless assembly lines, broad smiles on soot-smudged faces – behind such well-known motifs of industrial photography are promises: the prospect of increased consumption, more attractive and functional products, enhanced quality of life and work, in short: progress.

Enterprises and businesses in West and East Germany commissioned photography to create effective narratives to present a systematic representation of their own aims and marketing strategies. These impressive photographs will be shown for the first time in the context of their contemporary utilisation – namely in the elaborately designed print media of the steel, chemical, textile and automobile industries – and examined as to their function and effectiveness.

The exhibition is curated by Carola Jüllig and Stefanie Regina Dietzel.

As part of EMOP Berlin - European Month of Photography