Arcbishop in his car with open window and his arm outside in Cologne. Cologne salvation
documentary photography of rituals of election campaigns in Germany – chancellor Helmut Kohl 1998

Power and Ritual

For more than 20 years Bernd Arnold has been exploring the demonstration of power and rituals at public events in his documentary photography.

He started his research about behavioural attitudes in different contexts of society photograph of chancellor Gerhard Schröderwith a documentation of catholic ceremonies in Cologne (compiled in the book "Das Kölner Heil"). Following topics were the politicians´ strategies of a medium-effective self-production during the German election campaign update (compiled in the book "Wahl Kampf Ritual") and the world economic summits. Further on he examined the defining rituals of demimonde and nightlife as well as the production of television sceneries bringing up the question: Is our world a telly?

Overview about Power and Ritual

Photograph and portraiture of German chancellor Angela MerkelNight on Demimonde Eroscenter PaschaDocumentary photography of television studios in Cologne – anchormen Peter Klöppel and Ulrike von der Gröben, RTL NewsEconomic Summits in Brussel – Photographer and photojournalist rests

Black East Wild West

Dark mass, bizarre situations, shadowy portraits and questionable details vary between the real and the fictional. In Western Europe the interfaces (entrance/exit) between the secular and the sacral were in former centuries the portals of the cathedrals. Nowadays, the interface are more in shopping streets and mass events where human fates are in search of salvation. The growing globalization of the last decades promises more independency and individualisShopping Streets in Germany – the Zonem. But is this really true? Are the dependency and synchronization of each other are really less than before?

The Zone – shopping streets | The Portal – the interface between the secular and the sacral | Black East – scenes of decay | Mimesis – a deceptive game

Overview about Black East Wild West

Zone Cologne shopping streetZone Shopping street CologneBlack East – Scenes of decay in East Germany – StralsundBlack East – Street Scene Streetphotographyphotographs about the West Portals of the Cologne cathedral – entrance with hairdressing womanMimesis – Cologne Carnival and Metro station – Photoessayphotography about the West Portals of Cologne cathedraltwo men walked in to the Cologne cathedral at the West Portals – Photography and Portfolio

Insights and Incidents

Boxing on Parish Fair | Schlagerfans | Ethnic Germans | Hospice | Buedchen | Student leagues | School of Diplomats | Migrants in Germany | Drewermann Fans | Ghostcity | Homeworkers | Photorepotage – Senior Socialist at Election Campaign in Germany University of Sports | Climate | Menschensinfonieorchester | German Election Campaign 2005 | World Youth Day | Socialist Election Campaign | World Soccer Championchip 2006 | An ordinary day in Germany | Pope Benedict XVI in Munich | Erdogan | Christopher Street Day

Cologne cathedral building lodge stained glass designer with a featherMigrant from Siberia to GermanyMigrants from Siberia to GermanyOld Socialist during the Election CampaignA ordinary day in Germany with Oskar LafontaineA ordinary day in Germany
Benedikt Taschen Portrait of the publisherBenedikt Taschen PortraitPortrait Gregory Waldispublisher Ralf Daab PortraitArtist Stephen Prina during Kunstfilmbiennale in CologneUrsula Strauss – Austrian actressPortrait Moby musicianJan BöhmermannLeo Fischer Titanic
Emotion anger Franz van der GrintenUrsula Strauss actress

Portraiture and Series

André Rieu | Ursula Strauss | Manager | Peter Bernstein | Sheila Arnold | Katrin Bauerfeind | Jim Beard | Moby | Tyler Brule | Ralf Daab | Luigi Colani | Peter Schiergen | Lina Wertmüller | Mercedes Sosa | Reinhold Messner | Van der Grinten | Alice Schwarzer | Laszlo Kish | Frank Wingold | Jan Böhmermann | Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski | Anger | Christiane von Poelnitz | Jonathan Meese | Manfred Schneider | Vitor Caldeira | Storm Thorgerson | Alfred Neven DuMont | Klaus Theweleit | Benedikt Taschen | and many others portraits...

Portfolio and Overview about the portrait photography

woman cashier in canteenSheila Arnold Pianistin PortraitAnja Ehrenberg dancerPortrait of Katrin BauerfeindJan Böhmermann PortraiturePortraiture of Kenneth RogoffMorgue Franz van der Grintenportrait of Frank Wingold with jazz guitar
Rhein romantic rhine river with wineBudapestBudapestromantic rhine river romantic in Boppard and an old man smoking a cigaretteTokyo bag
Cologne Airport – woman with bag

Light Places Dark Cities

Prague by night

Istanbul | Verona | Atlanta | Cologne | Budapest | Prague | Edinburgh | Tokyo | Berlin | Luxembourg | Budapest | Rhine river – Warum ist es am Rhein so schön?

Portfolio and Overview about the documentary photography

Istanbul Beyoglu IstiklalBudapest BathesTokyo Ginzahaidresser Istanbul BeyogluAtlanta Skyline Downtown

Digitalis and Dichography

In the DIGITALIS cycle, the play with reality and the image of a memory casually marks the transition from analog to digital photography.
In various series since 1985, the fragments of authenticity within photography are slowly and inexorably dissolved with technical developments.

What is a dichography? | Love tale (last chapter) | agog | Morguemorph | agog+zapp | Neulich am Rande der Straße | The Anatom | Via Crucis – World Youth Day Cologne | Mystic Tales | Maiwald | Lady Di and the New Photographer

Overview about Digitalis and Dichography

election campaigns

In various experiments, series were created that dealt with authenticity in photography, not to refute it, but to ensure its relevance for documentary photography and at the same time keep the field of imaging open. After all, with the student research project on Lady Di and the New Photographer (1988), it was clear that photography would not be spared from the digital revolution and was steadily approaching the freedom of painting.

But what impact will the new developments in computer and AI-generated image processing and image production have on photography in general and documentary photography in particular?
The introduction of artificial intelligence creates completely new possibilities in the generation of images. For the first time, AI image generators bring together all the imaging techniques known from art history in a single tool that can be used by any computer user without special expertise. They can be used to create images that look like photographs but are not photographs. We are entering a new world in which authentic photos and AI-generated photographic imitations will compete with each other in forming our view of the world and history.
This makes it all the more important to engage with the origins and nature of photography in order to understand the dimension of the new images: The work Die Welt der Neuen Bilder (only in German language) has now been created as part of the Digitalis cycle. Three essays analyse the history of technology and perception in photography, explain the new and innovative nature of AI, provide an outlook on the composition of political events and describe the future role of documentary photography and its producers.

Morguemorph Digitalis – digital illustrationelection campaigns 1984election campaigns chapter 1985Maiwald Digitalis – digital illustrationDog and Moon an alternate streetphotography