“It’s the fringes of the world that interest me, not its center. The noninterchangeable is my concern. When there is something in faces or landscapes that doesn’t quite fit” Sibylle Bergemann
The present moment is fleeting, fragile, intimate, and difficult to hold on to. The instant and eternity—nowhere are they so close together as in the Polaroid, the instant photo that is ephemeral precisely because it fades with time. Sibylle Bergemann used this medium with lyricism and empathy to capture the contours of the moment, and the result is a body of dreamlike and sensitive documentary works that take a stand against forgetfulness. They appear as if enveloped in a kind of veil, eluding temporal or spatial classification. Bergemann’s photographs are multilayered—they speak of destinies, of the passage of time, of surrounding circumstances. As such, one can see and understand them again and again anew. The oscillation between the various levels and the quality of transience are unmistakable in all her photographs—from the melancholy black-and-white photographs of Berlin in the 1960s to the faded color Polaroids, and finally to the color prints taken after the fall of the Berlin Wall.