Following the death of the renowned German photographer Michael Schmidt, Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (25 May):
Michael Schmidt left his mark of humble greatness on the German cultural landscape. In his oeuvre, he questioned German identity more than others did, and we all remember his great work EIN‑HEIT (U‑ni‑ty).
He consistently refused to be judgemental and continuously made others his frame of reference. Therein lie the modernity and singularity of his oeuvre. His last major work, “Lebensmittel” (“food stuff”), once again foregrounded the detail that indicates the whole – and only recently won him the Prix Pictet.
We have lost in Michael Schmidt not only a major artist, but a great teacher who, a self‑taught man himself, made a valuable contribution to teaching photography to others. His work at the Kreuzberg adult education centre was exemplary for the committed involvement of artists in civil society.