›Die Bücher‹, or ›The Books‹ Annette Kelm photographed for her exhibition of the same name are among the approximately 30,000 burned by National Socialist students on Opernplatz in Berlin on 10 May 1933: publications including Else Lasker-Schüler’s ›Hebrew Ballads‹, Oskar Maria Graf’s ›Notebook of a Provincial Writer‹, Alfred Döblin’s ›Berlin Alexanderplatz‹, Stefan Zweig’s novel ›The Refugee‹, and even Erich Kästner’s children’s book ›The Enchanted Telephone‹. Kelm reproduces the front covers of these books in sharp focus and with rich colours, but also in a decidedly matter-of-fact way. She consciously avoids any narrative dimension, engaging with the volumes at a purely objective level instead. This deliberately restrained approach foregrounds certain aspects of book design at the time, which often took up various formal languages associated with modernism. It also evokes the role of photography in processes of memory and recollection: as a means of both producing signs and images and conveying them to an equal extent. The following is a selection.
Annette Kelm’s latest series shows a selection of books burned by the Nazis in 1933. This work is on view at Museum Frieder Burda’s Salon Berlin during Berlin Art Week