Klein Paris

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Steidl, 2011. First edition. Hardcover, 112 pp., 144 b/w illustrations, 188 x 250 mm. Photographs by Dirk Alvermann. Text by Thomas Wiegand (German).

Dirk Alvermann grew up in Düsseldorf. His parents' house was 15 minutes from the fashionable Königsallee. As a young photographer, he walked around the city with his camera for 2-3 hours a day, taking photos of this and that. He found the "cartwheeling" children and boys who were wrestling in the street particularly exciting, with the world-weariness visible in their eyes.

Alvermann wanted to make a children's book, but ultimately no publisher was found for it. Years later, after he had long since completed the actual photographic work in Düsseldorf, he looked through the negative strips and made prints. He combined these photos into a great collage that shows the destruction of the war in Düsseldorf in connection with the stuffy Rhenish cheerfulness of the shooting festivals and carnival. Next to them are photos that give an idea of ​​the political stagnation of the Adenauer era. This is how the idea for a book was born that combines youthful joie de vivre with the resignation of a worn-out generation of parents in black and white photos, a reflection of a post-war Germany that still has to find its way.

Dirk Alvermann kept the photos and book concept in his studio and lost sight of it. In 2010, after he had found a publisher, he completed the layout. In the summer of 2011, he personally supervised the printing in the Steidl Verlag printing shop in Göttingen.


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