Michael Schmidt has profoundly influenced the imagery of his native city, Berlin. Realised together with Einar Schleef, Schmidt’s book and exhibition project Waffenruhe (Ceasefire), exhibited in 1987 in the Berlinische Galerie in Martin-Gropius-Bau, played a decisive role in this process. With atmospherically condensed, fragmentary monochrome pictures of urban landscapes, natural details and portraits, Schmidt sketched a subjective image of the still-divided city. His technique moved beyond the methodology of pure documentation, and, instead, formulated in unexpected compositions the Zeitgeist of a generation just before the fall of the Wall. He developed a world of fractures and lacunae that defy any pretence of a definitive image. Together with a text by the theatre director and writer Einar Schleef, a contrary and particular view of the fragility of human existence emerged.
Thirty years later, Waffenruhe is now being reprinted. This artist's book - often included on lists of the most influential photographic books of all time - is once again being made available.