Junge Frau posiert in Stars and Stripes Bikini in seichter Brandung
Photo Braschler/Fischer, Aubrie Lemon, Daytona Beach, Florida 2020

19.09.2021 - 30.01.2022

Braschler Fischer Inside USA

Voyage across a divided country. Photographs and videos by Mathias Braschler and Monika Fischer

Barlach Kunstmuseum Wedel

Divided and torn, the United States of America stands before us today. What former U.S. President Barack Obama described as a worrying development in 2004 has been rampantly reinforced with Donald Trump's term in office. The election campaign and the presidential election of November 3, 2020, have made this clear once again. At the end of his term, the election loser Donald Trump left behind a country that has lost its dream.

How do people feel about the situation in their country? What about their social identity? How do the people you meet on the street, who otherwise hardly have a voice, see themselves? How do they see their own division?

To answer these questions, award-winning photographer duo Monika Fischer and Mathias Braschler traveled 25,000 kilometers across the U.S. before the last presidential election to explore the country's current state and deep divisions through their encounters with people. With their impressive photographs, audio and video recordings, Braschler/Fischer have created a diverse and revealing kaleidoscope of individual American sensitivities, a kaleidoscope that allows us to look directly through the eyes of those portrayed into the soul of America.

The exhibition INSIDE USA consists of two major photographic cycles. On the ground and upper floors of the museum we show the photo project DIVIDED WE STAND with over 45 photo portraits, some of them large format.

Combined with quotes and video interviews, this sequence of striking portraits illustrates how people look to an uncertain future, and articulate their ideas, longings, fears, and desires. We see and hear narratives filled with grief, fear, and anger, but also love, confidence, and hope.

In the basement of the museum, Mathias Braschler and Monika Fischer show their cycle ABOUT AMERICANS from 2003. In numerous individual and group portraits, the individual expressions of the "American way of life" become visible. The portrayed persons are shown in such a way that their profession or their most important interests are also visualized. Often a short and concise statement supports the message of the portrait photographs and leads to the question: How did Americans and their country see themselves when the American dream still seemed to be intact?

The photographer couple Mathias Braschler, born in 1969, and Monika Fischer, born in 1971, live and work in Switzerland and New York. They specialize in documenting people of all backgrounds and cultures. Major projects have included "About Americans," "China," and "The Human Face of Climate Change." Braschler/Fischer won numerous awards, including a World Press Foto Award. For the illustrated book "Divided We Stand," the duo traveled for months through the U.S. in a van with an integrated pop-up photo studio.