25 Feb 2010

what are we gonna do?

I am not asking that question, but merely repeating what I can hear coming from loud speakers - this morning there is random 80's and 90's pop rock playing, it seems to be a different genre every morning, or rather every time I sit on these chesterfield sofas! Blondie right now.. oh wow, what a tune - caaallll meeeee ;)

Yesterday was the best day so far here in Germany, I say Germany of course because we ventured out of Berlin - we walked to the hautbahnhof in Berlin (the main station, there are several in the city inluding rather large underground (U-Bahn) stations - and rather easily managed to acquire a group ticket (of six, myself - four other students and Roger Hargreaves) to Leipzig Hautbahnhof. Also, I do know we have only technically been here 2 and a bit days but still, it was a great day. We arrived in Leipzig around 1pm, a rather late arrival if I can say! we met with Erasmus Schröter and his wife and spent a few hours in his "packing and framing" studio - including several powerpoint presentations and talks about his past and current work.

His work is most interesting, varying from work in the 70's and 80's during the segregation of east and west Germany - through the abandoned bunkers, "summer houses" more recogniseable as sheds, lost space and time with figures bathing in the darkness (infra red) and much more. We, as a group, spent over 2 hours in the studio listening to what he had to say about his work - both past and present. It was a surreal feeling being in a studio of someone so well known, whether it be a working studio or just a storage area - I didn't care. I walked away from that space with a signed copy of his most recent publication, and I was left feeling as though I knew hardly anything about the struggles in Germany during that time.

My dad was stationed in Germany during the time the Berliner Mauer was up - the Berlin Wall to us non-German speaking folk. He witnessed carnage, and how deprived those on the east side were - since Leipzig fell in the east side of Germany I guess the same could be said. It's amazing to think that 20 off years ago this photographer and his wife escaped from communism and managed to return "home" to a more normal way of life... I guess you can see in his work what influence that time had on him, he's definately worth looking up.

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