Rostrums of Power

(Last modified April 2000)

This project involves a photographic investigation of the forms chosen to represent political power in Bonn and Berlin. Photography is the medium used in this project to document the rostrums of power, from which the government presents itself to the media and the state presents itself to visitors. The photos depict conference rooms, entrance lobbies, meeting rooms, the offices of ministers, the Federal Chancellor's office building, the offices of the Federal President etc., which representatives of the state use to present themselves and which reflect their importance. The focus of this photographic investigation is not the intended aesthetics of architecture but rather the everyday performance of these rooms and spaces.

The first part of the project was carried out in 1997-98 in Bonn, before the German government moved to Berlin; the results have been published as Bühnen der Macht – Bilder aus Bonn (Hamburger Edtion, 1999). The second part investigates and documents how Germany's political representatives are getting settled in Berlin. Are they, in fact, adapting their forms of presentation and using new rostrums to stage it?

The project is part of a network of studies aimed at observing and evaluating the relocation of the German capital.

The project has been completed. A publication is in preparation.