These are pictures I took on a trip to Germany last year. I felt inspired by the nature as well as history that surrounds my hometown of Langenberg in North Rhine Westfalia. There is a great deal of NOSTALGIA involved in the reasons why I feel emotional about these pictures. Even though there are NO PEOPLE within the frame, the pictures speak to me mostly about the people I value most.
Went to shoot large format pictures in this location. My mother works here and I always found the fact that it's used by the current governments interesting. What's more, it's basically owned by the people of North Rhine-Westphalia, but no one ever goes let alone sees the inside. While I was shooting the images, there was a change in government, which meant that from one day to the next it wasn't the Ministerium für Generationen, Familie, Frauen und Integration (English: Ministry for Generations, Family, Women and Integration) anymore, but the Ministerium für Gesundheit, Emanzipation, Pflege und Alter (Ministry for Health, Emanzipation, Care and High Age)
The following pictures have been taken with my iPhone - hence don't portrait the aesthetics that I would normally try to achieve.
5x4 Large Format Pictures are currently being processed.
This photoshoot I'm super-excited about. While I came to Germany to shoot buildings that are owned by "the people" from inside - I didn't have much hope of being authorised to shoot in this particular object. For one was it undergoing intensive redevelopment at the time (€12.000.000) and secondly, I knew how hard it was to plumage through German bureaucracy.
Thankfully, I was put in touch with Mr Jens Michaels (Stadt Velbert) who seemed friendly enough at first and turned out to be an absolute star. Not only did I get access to the property, I was also let into areas that are normally hidden to people that visit this building (ie. the roof of the building)
The history of the building alone is an interesting one: When Langenberg was still independent, it was the city with the most millionaires in the region. With a population of only 5.000 people - the richest family, Colsmann, decided to give back and built this enormous building which was meant to go as a gift to the city for the people. Construction finished in the early 1900s and the building was consequently used as a theatre, cinema and leisure centre. The burden of the huge structure to the city is so interesting. There is no way, the city can heat, maintain and run a building of this magnitude. Yet, it hasn't fallen in the hands of private investors and remains one of the cultural cornerstones of Langenberg, hence to my life.
More information of the building (in German) you'll find HERE
I realised that in the communal gardens around my house, there happened to be some BBQs but I only saw the extend of it upon close inspection. These BBQs assumingly accumulated over the years where people moved into the development from houses with personal gardens.
Their fate is now to serve their owners during the brief summer months while sitting unadmired in the garden for the rest of the year until the first sun rays emerge in the spring.
I'm planning on documenting their journey through the cold months further in the upcoming weeks with an update on what has become of them in the autumn (on medium format colour transparencies) and possibly how they'll cope with the first frost and potentially snow.