Bergemann became one of the most significant representatives of GDR photography. Throughout the 70s and 80s, her work found its way into major exhibitions and publications, including the magazine Fotografie—an organ of the Central Photography Commission (ZKF)—and East German illustrated magazines, such as the more free-thinking periodicals Sibylle, Sonntag, and Das Magazin. Today, her enduring legacy is carried in the photographs showcased at ‘Town and Country and Dogs, Photographs 1966-2010,’ in the rooms of the modern art, photography, and architecture museum, the Berlinische Galerie, in Berlin’s dynamic Kreuzberg neighborhood.
An exciting body of work that is both dream-like and a sensitive documentary, the curated selection of over 200 photographs—30 of which have never been published before—speaks of the passage of time, of the fragile, the intimate, and the undiscovered. Divided into six chapters—‘An Invisible Observer,’ ‘Berlin,’ ‘Women,’ ‘Moscow, Paris, New York,’ ‘The World in Color,’ and ‘Back in Berlin’—the exhibition highlights the photographer’s main themes and recurring motifs, namely cities, women, and dogs. A testament to her mastery of composition and remarkable use of black-and-white as well as color, the images emphasize how Bergemann magnificently conveyed candor and irony in the frame, while serving as a chronological guide to her evolving œuvre, from 1966 until 2010.