Polaroid collection Siebeck

"Never without Barbara! For more than 40 years, Wolfram Siebeck, the Republic's most important culinary essayist and critic based in South Baden, only entered a restaurant in the company of his wife. For more than 15 years, Barbara Siebeck documented their life together across Europe with wit and a clear view for the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT.

In September 2020, the Deutsche Fotothek was able to acquire Barbara Siebeck's Polaroid archive of 3,963 photographs, including her Polaroid 1200si instant camera.

What survives is a large mountain of snapshots (comprising around 4,000 Polaroids), or is it author photography? Going far beyond the context of use for Wolfram Siebeck's ZEIT columns, Barbara Siebeck has developed a self-determined visual language that plays with the (in)sharpness and very unique colourfulness of the Polaroids and is characterised by wit and not infrequently also by compositional radicalism. She celebrated the art of the snapshot with her camera, "which was also used now and then in the kitchen at home when the strict guardian of true eating and drinking culture lent a hand himself".

It seems as if Barbara Siebeck has - unintentionally - become the pioneer of a trend that has captured legions of photo enthusiasts all over the world in times of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: the visual logging of everyday life, which, for all its spontaneity, is always also a staging.