Ulrike Schmitz

Ulrike Schmitz

Germany, born in 1975

Following the radical change of direction that led Ulrike Schmitz from the study of law to that of photography, the Museum of your Memory deals with a subject bound up as much with German history as with her own life. Within the context of German reparations after the Second World War, in 1946 several thousand German scientists working in aviation were forcibly removed, together with their families, to Stalin’s USSR to add their efforts to the development of the nation’s aircraft industry. Uprooted from Germany and prevented for several years from going home, the scientists saw themselves obliged to begin a new life in the outskirts of Moscow. If some never made it back, Ulrike Schmitz’s own family returned to Germany after eight long years languishing in the village of Podbrezje. In an explicit act of remembrance, the Berlin artist has tracked down traces of her grandparents deported to the Soviet Union some sixty years ago. In what is a very intimate installation, she juxtaposes photographs of present-day Podbrezje taken on her travels with doctored stills from Russian propaganda films of the Stalinist era. As she freely confesses, Schmitz thus discovered her “own reality — independent of the past and distorted by media, but, maybe, possessing its own truth.”


Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie, Berlin, Germany, 2008 – 2012
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, Germany, 1997 – 2001
Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, 1994 – 1996



Ulrike Schmitz, Museum of your Memory, 2012
Inkjet prints
40 x 40 cm each
© Ulrike Schmitz

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