Arwed Messmer

RAF – No Evidence / Kein Beweis

June 9 – September 3, 2017

Much has been written and told from a journalistic, historical, literary, and cinematic perspective about the Red Army Faction and the ‘German Autumn’ of 1977.  For his latest work, the photographer and image archaeologist Arwed Messmer adopts a photographic point of view to explore this particular chapter of West German history. Messmer’s work starts off with the various kinds of pictures taken by police photographers – photos of demonstrations, pictures of crime scenes, and images taken by officers for reconnaissance purposes or while on duty – which the artist unearthed while looking through a number of state archives. He then employs an artistic process to appropriate the images for his own purposes, underlining the original function served by these crime-scene photographs, while also laying bear their destructive potential.

Arwed Messmer wishes to thank the Bundesarchiv, Staatsarchiv Ludwigsburg, and the Polizeihistorische Sammlung Berlin for their cooperation and the Stiftung Kunstfonds and VG Bild-Kunst for their generous support.

In cooperation with the
Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie


Funded by

Arwed Messmer
Stammheim #12 1977/2016 Zelle 720 (Ensslin), AM_RAF_STH_STA_LB_EL_51/3_679_FILM_EN_01_NEG_10
© Arwed Messmer using a negative from the
State Archives of Ludwigsburg

Arwed Messmer
Benno Ohnesorg (fotografiert von einem Polizisten) 1967/2017
AM_PHS_SCHUPO_FILM_1813_NEG_24A
© Arwed Messmer unter Verwendung von Negativen aus der Polizeihistorischen Sammlung Berlin.