“The pictures could be from anywhere.” - The peeling plaster on house facades. Empty streets and squares. "Luv u forever" sprayed on the side of a building. A paper bag blown away by the wind. The word "Revolution" scratched into the wall of a decaying house. The utopian promise "Citizens actively shape their city" on a column in front of a highrise. A gas station like a thousand others. A transformer box tagged with the word "cold". The entrance of a building leading into the dark. Remnants and signs, smudged and painted-over traces of presence scrawled onto the skin of the city.
The French anthropologist Marc Augé speaks of non-places: places that are purely functional and have lost all markers of the identity of their occupants. They remain anonymous, interchangeable - they are no longer inhabited, but have become places of permanent transit. In this sense, the images could be indeed from “anywhere".
But they are not. Hanau, Istha, Köln, Hoyerswerda, Rostock-Lichtenhagen, Heidelberg, München: These are very concrete places that have become crime scenes in Germany's recent past and whose names we have now learned as sites of violence. The images we see of them in the media are interchangeable: the white suits of the forensic experts, the white-red barrier tape, splinters, debris, bodies covered by shrouds; then later the rituals of mourning and sympathy, candles, flowers, politicians in front of microphones; finally interest drying up, the circus of the media leaving the town, oblivion. We quickly pass the plaques that are supposed to commemorate the dead near the crime scenes on our way to the supermarket. Then the cycle begins anew: somewhere else.
The annual report on Politically Motivated Crime (PMK), which the "Federal Ministry of the Interior and for Home Affairs" publishes every year, registered over 50,000 crimes in 2021 for the second year in a row: “Anywhere" is a project that could go on without end.
Sometimes it is only a month or a year, sometimes it is forty that separate us from the violence that happened in these places. “Anywhere” is the futile attempt to restart the city's broken, fragmentary recording apparatus and to listen for the voices of the ghosts - an invocation to the stones, knowing that the stones cannot answer and that the voices of the ghosts are always only in our head.
104 pages, 96 images
Hardback / Clothbound
24 x 30 cm
signed, self-published in a limited edition of 30 books
€ 40.00 incl. VAT
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