Nine men can be seen in a black and white photograph. The former German Chancellor Willy Brandt is sitting in the middle, in front of him squatting and holding a cigarette in his left hand is the Soviet politician Leonid Brezhnev. It is a photograph by Barbara Klemm, part of the ifa touring exhibition "Barbara Klemm. Light and Dark. Photographs from Germany".
Leonid Brezhnev, Willy Brandt, Bonn, 1973, Silver gelatine print © Barbara Klemm, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V.

Barbara Klemm. Light and Dark. Photographs from Germany

21 Sep 2023
Exhibition opening: 20.09.2023
23 Oct 2023
Sofia City Art Gallery
Str. Gen. Gurko N1
1000 Sofia

This solo exhibition presents a collection of works by the renowned German photographer Barbara Klemm. Over a period of forty years, Klemm documented the historical development and present in a country that had been divided for decades. Today, her photographs have become "icons of contemporary history" and shaping the cultural memory of several generations.

Barbara Klemm's photographs: testimony to a divided nation

In her works, Barbara Klemm creates a unique combination of documentation and artistic inspiration rarely seen in the German press. Through her own perspective and the application of the creative rules of art, she gives the supposedly objective documentary a very personal touch.

A unique perspective on German history

Originally commissioned by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, these photographs go far beyond the scope of ordinary media coverage. They offer a unique insight into the most important areas of social life in the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. Particular emphasis is placed on those photographs taken before and after the German reunification.


Ursula Zeller and Matthias Flügge in cooperation with Barbara Klemm.

ifa Agora

Network, Collection, Archive.

The ifa agora is the central platform for the network, collection and archive of ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen in the field of art. It is a place of transcultural exchange – just as the agora in ancient Greece was a city’s most important meeting place and marketplace. It shows ifa’s relationships and brings them together online.

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Exhibitions worldwide

With over 20 touring exhibitions currently travelling across the globe and with its diverse event programmes on contemporary art, the ifa links the German art scene with internationally active cultural creators and forms cooperations and networks. The projects, many of which were developed in co-creation with local partners, cover the various disciplines of modern and contemporary fine arts – from current themes in architecture, photography and design to Bauhaus and monographic exhibitions such as Rosemarie Trockel or Wolfgang Tillmans. These projects generate local meeting platforms and allow international perspectives on topics of global relevance. The ifa also provides loan exhibits to interested museums.

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Overview exhibitions worldwide (PDF)


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