Published by Spector Books. Text by Thorsten Krämer.
In March 2009 Cologne’s historical Stadtarchiv collapsed: a catastrophe that can be seen as a consequence of a neoliberal programme of urban redevelopment. Yet for all that, critiques of neo-liberalism often run into difficulty because they lack a clearly defined object to focus on. Faced with structural complexities, their analysis and criticism is often directed towards isolated instances. Arne Schmitt confronts this tendency in his book with a resolutely straightforward approach, or — to use a key concept from the accompanying text by writer Thorsten Krämer — with uncomplexity. On a clearly mapped-out walk through Cologne, Schmitt photographs architecture from different periods, all in black and white. The images and the form of the book thus refer back to the theme-oriented photo-books of the 1950s and 1960s, in which political and social critiques of the day were combined with photographic depictions of the city — a level of achievement that is well worth recapturing.