04.11.06 - 09.01.07

Claudio Hils | Industrie_Zeit_Raum


"It appears as if the town in question has to struggle to maintain its memory, including its memory of itself. A memory that has arbitrarily filed itself way in poorly preserved relics and forms, which without exception show traces of a conflicting legacy. (...) The town in question was completely destroyed. Out of the industrial coordinates of its rise and fall, those brand names marked by light and shadow are engraved in our collective memory to this day. Dornier, Maybach, Zeppelin (...) As is commonly known, it was a question of a hybrid vision of conquering nothing less than the world, of a drive to expand that was realized by military means a short time later. The armaments companies were at the dictatorship's service, and the consequences were devastating, not only for the town. The story goes on to tell that between taboo and tradition, rebuilding was once again successful under the dictate of technological process, whose visible traces were to be increasingly smoothed out. In Mc Luhan's rearview mirror, the remaining relics of this emergence seem all the more desolate. Once they have been robbed of their aura, today there is hardly space for them in the functional gears. The wood-paneled cabinet doors in a conference room already bear archive numbers; a faulty street lamp, covered with overgrowth, has survived in the industrial fallow. What was allowed to stay is being kept safe by a product archive under neon light. The odd large-format photograph and prototype model as evidence of former economic prosperity on easels and pedestals made of wooden palettes. When exactly they, too, will be taken away remains open. Memory is still struggling with this issue."

( Christoph Schaden )

from: The Town in Question (printed in the catalogue "Industrie_Zeit_Raum", Edition J. J. Heckenhauer, Berlin/Tuebingen 2005).