Erich Lessing's black and white photographs focus on the everyday life of people in post-war Europe
In the course of his career, Erich Lessing covered many significant political and social events. His photographs illustrate the atmosphere of post-war Europe, such as Allied occupation in Vienna, reconstruction in war-damaged Germany, life under communist rule in Eastern Europe, several political summit conferences, Charles de Gaulle’s visit to Algeria in 1958 and the dramatic events of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956.
"I never thought of myself as doing anything other than telling stories"
- Erich Lessing
For the most part, this book’s duotone photographs are gathered from unpublished material. In the context of Lessing’s reportage work they do not show figures of political power, but rather focus on anonymous people and representations of everyday life. The photographer’s chosen title for this collection, Anderswo (Elsewhere), mirrors his intention to portray a world beyond the familiar and habitual.
“I never thought of myself as doing anything other than telling stories. The camera became the medium through which I did that, but I don’t carry a camera everywhere I go. To me, it is simply the means to a very specific end. I observe the world through my eyes and not through the viewfinder of a camera. I don’t interpret, nor do I adjust anything in the dark room. I am a realistic photographer.” – Erich Lessing