Projection and reissue
Alongside sentences taken from texts by Einar Schleef, nightly projections of Michael Schmidt’s WAFFENRUHE illuminated the Volksbühne-façade for six weeks beginning at the end of January of this year. On February 16, 2018 Kolja Reichert from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote about WAFFENRUHE, 1987 (Projection, 2018): …“It is the rigour the Berlin based photographer Michael Schmidt – who died way too young four years ago – employed that ripped photography out of its mere depiction of things, the rigour that made him block his images with walls and thicket, and horrified or hideous faces, that he used to repeat these images, juxtapose them in mirrored opposition to shift the effect from the picture’s inner self right into the stomach of the viewer. It is the rigour of one of the finest series in the history of photography that is projected night after night in slow motion against the Volksbühne-façade illuminating the Berlin winter, or rather letting it glow eerily: the “Waffenruhe” series that was first shown in 1987 by Berlinische Galerie in Martin-Gropius-Bau before moving to the MoMA in New York City gaining him renown in America even before German museum visitors got to know the uncompromising, belligerent Michael Schmidt…”
On the occasion of WAFFENRUHE (Ceasefire), 1987 (Projection, 2018), Koenig Books, London, published an English and German reissue of the original artist book from 1987.
WAFFENRUHE, 1987 (Projektion, 2018)
PublicationsWerkstatt für Photographie 1976-1986
Koenig Books have now published German and English editions of a joint catalogue to the 2016/2017 three-part exhibition project at the Museum Folkwang, Sprengel Museum Hannover and C/O Berlin. With essays from editors Florian Ebner, Felix Hoffmann, Inka Schube and Thomas Weski, short articles from Ute Eskildsen, Christine Frisinghelli, Virginia Heckert, Klaus Honnef, Jörg Ludwig and short biographies from Carolin Förster. The 392 page publication includes over 300 images, and discusses the history, influences and legacy of the legendary Werkstatt für Photographie founded by Michael Schmidt at the Volkshochschule Kreuzberg in 1976.
The Greatest Photobooks of all Time
Issue 88 of The Photographic Review (Belfast, winter 2016) published the results of a survey on the greatest photobooks of all time. 112 international experts nominated a total of 1,119 photobooks.
Michael Schmidt appears on the list as the only German photographer in the top twenty and the only photographer with two books in the top twenty. WAFFENRUHE from 1987 is in 13th place and U-NI-TY from 1996 in 16th.
In 2018 Buchhandlung Walther König (Cologne) will publish a new edition of the artist’s 1987 book.
Issue #32 of magazine 032c (Berlin, summer 2017) features a facsimile of the article ‘West Berlin 1980s’ by Michael Schmidt, first published in issue #4 (winter 2002/2003). The picture series, designed by the artist, runs to 16 pages.
It also features an article by Kolja Reichert entitled, “The Gray Island – Michael Schmidt and the Community Workshop that turned West Berlin into a Cauldron of Contemporary Photography”.
Issue 25 of Dear Dave magazine (New York, 2017) includes an article on Michael Schmidt's U-NI-TY by publisher Michael Mack. The article ends with the sentence, “It is one of the few books I return to again and again”.
Promesse du Bonheur, poems by Michael Fried, photographs by James Welling
In his 2016 volume of poetry, American poet, critic, art historian and academic Michael Fried includes the piece “From Michael Schmidt’s Frauen”. Fried will write an essay in the context of the 2020 retrospective of Michael Schmidt’s work in one of the museums of the Nationalgalerie Berlin.
Issue 158 of the magazine October – Art, Theory, Criticism, Politics (Cambridge, Massachussetts, fall 2016) features an article by Michael W. Jennings, a Professor at Princeton University, New Jersey, entitled “The Secrets of the Darkened Chamber: Michael Schmidt’s Berlin nach 45”.