The German playwright Heiner Müller once remarked that German history seems concealed under a heavy, immobilizing metaphorical cover – like a rheumatism blanket. Below this surface lies a mix of warmth and inertia, just enough to create the illusion of well-being, while the edges remain cold and unforgiving. Georg Kussmann’s photographs in “FRG” were produced within the confines of this metaphorical blanket. Captured during a single summer in the Federal Republic of Germany, they portray the ordinary moments of life, labor, and leisure that conceal simmering discontent and potential violence. At times, this discomfort is overt, manifesting as physical actions or graffiti-laden slogans. However, more often than not, it lingers eerily beneath the surface, kept in check.
Kussmann crafted these photographs by embarking on foot journeys through his homeland, often sleeping on the streets and driven forward by a combination of curiosity and fear. When brought together in a meticulously arranged sequence, they depict a place straddling the weight of its past and the pressures of the present. Tapping into the distinct German narratives of work ethics, directives, and abbreviations, Kussmann takes a persistent yet subtly nuanced approach to contemporary Germany and its ongoing struggle for self-understanding.
This collection is published as a limited edition of 1000 signed copies.
About the Author
Born in 1989 in Halle, Saxony. He studied at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg in both the fields of cinema and photography. He works freelance as a photographer and cameraman. He deals with freelance artistic projects and creates photographers’ books, documentaries and experimental experimental pieces.