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Maria Zinfert (ed.): Kracauer. Photographic Archive

Maria Zinfert (ed.)

Kracauer. Photographic Archive

Photographs by Elisabeth Kracauer and Siegfried Kracauer

Hardcover, 256 pages

PDF, 256 pages

"Curriculum Vitae in Pictures“

The photography book "Kracauer. Photographic Archive" is a collection of previously unpublished photographic material from the estate of the sociologist, journalist and film theorist Siegfried Kracauer. Portrait, city and landscape photographs give insights into the life of the writer and his wife Elisabeth, known as Lili – a life marked by flight and exile. The photographic portraits of Kracauer from the 1930s on were all taken by his wife, while prints, contact sheets, rolls of film and written material reveal that Kracauer took pictures himself, too. Neither Kracauer nor his wife was a professional photographer, yet their photos testify to the aesthetic and technical achievements of their collaborative photographic practice: the eye of the great photography theorist combined with that of the art historian and observant, self-taught photographer Lili Kracauer. The book also tells the story of Lili and Siegfried Kracauer’s close working relationship – from the early 1930s following their marriage in Germany, to exile in Paris and the war and post-war years in the USA.

  • exile
  • photographic images
  • Paris
  • 1930s
  • photography
  • collection
  • archive
  • biography
  • 1950s
  • Siegfried Kracauer
  • 20th century
  • portrait
  • History of photography

"'The photograph becomes a ghost because the costumed mannequin was once alive,' Kracauer wrote in 1927. In that sense, the most haunting image is this newly-minted American standing by the billboard for a roadside attraction, dressed in a suit and tie, hair slightly windblown, expression unconsciously mimicking that of the poster’s stoic Indian chief."
(J. Hoberman, New York Review of Books)

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Maria Zinfert

Maria Zinfert

works in Berlin as a freelance writer, publisher and translator. Her doctoral thesis is on the novels of Victor Segalen, and she has translated many of his texts into German. She is currently doing research into archive photos of 20th-century German-language authors and has already published on the photos from Kracauer’s estate.

Other texts by Maria Zinfert for DIAPHANES

»Photographs evoke a response in which our sense of beauty and our desire for knowledge interpenetrate; and often they seem esthetically attractive because they satisfy that desire.« Siegfried Kracauer