The agency bears the name OSTKREUZ. It is the name of a rail station in Berlin whose form recalls a compass rose because rail lines from all different directions converge there.
When seven men and seven women came together in 1990 to form an agency for photographers, they gave it this name. OSTKREUZ described where they were situated, the East, where another country had existed until just recently and where they had been some of its most prominent photographers. The founders thus marked a point, an intersection, from which you can head in any direction.
Today OSTKREUZ is the most successful photographer-run agency in Germany. It has twenty members. Almost every one of them has been honored with a national or international prize. They come from all regions of Germany and from other countries. The youngest is in his mid-twenties,
the oldest in her mid-sixties. Each sees the world through different eyes; each is interested in something different the world holds; each is heading in a different direction. But there is a point where they all set out from and where they always reconvene.
This point is called OSTKREUZ. OSTKREUZ is an approach. It means confronting reality straight on and discovering your working material there. Understanding the essence of things as you work, photographing this essence, and keeping the photograph honest. It means developing a stance toward reality and testing this attitude against reality, without necessarily allowing the one or the other to gain the upper hand. OSTKREUZ means being genuine, nothing more, nothing less.