Simon Menner. Top Secret

Simon Menner. Top Secret : Bilder aus den Archiven der Staatssicherheit

3.65 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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Almost 300,000 people worked for the East German secret police, per capita far more than were employed by agencies such as the CIA or the KGB. Not quite fifty years after the Berlin Wall was built, Simon Menner (*1978 in Emmendingen) discovered spectacular photographs in the Stasi archives that document the agency's surveillance work. Formerly secret, highly official photographs show officers and employees putting on professional uniforms, gluing on fake beards, or signaling to each other with their hands. Today, the sight of them is almost ridiculous, although the laughter sticks in the viewer's throat. This publication can be regarded as a visual processing of German history and an examination of current surveillance issues, yet it is extremely amusing at the same time. The fact that the doors of the opposite side-the British or German intelligence services, for example-remained closed to the artist lends the theme an explosive force as well as a tinge of absurdity.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 203 x 252 x 12.7mm | 521.63g
  • Ostfildern, Germany
  • English
  • Bilingual edition
  • Bilingual
  • 166 Abb.
  • 3775736204
  • 9783775736206
  • 192,126

Review quote

The book might be a primer on the banality of evil.--Luc Sante "The New York Times Book Review " Berlin-based artist Simon Menner spent two years researching the files of the Federal Commisioner for the Stasi Archives of the former GDR to unearth the photographs he has gathered for this dark but unavoidably comic volume. Menner's collection focuses on images pulled from manuals dealing with espionage tradecraft, as well as actuals photos from surveillance operations.--Albert Mobilio "Bookforum "
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Rating details

26 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 15% (4)
4 50% (13)
3 27% (7)
2 0% (0)
1 8% (2)
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