Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
The destination of the fi rst loop walk is
located on a small hill above the city centre. The
whereabouts is located at the top of the over-
view, too, in two additional loops showing a
famous side of Darmstadt, the Mathildenhöhe.
Jugendstil-Buildings and art-exhibitions, con-
certs take place there - this was and still is the
place where fi ne arts are located.
In the interview, the participant stressed the
importance this place had for him: the ability to
spend time there in the summer by naming it a
recreation area. Benches, lawn, nice avenues
and people meeting there to play or listen to
music, to watch a game of boules or play chess
with giant fi gures are quite compelling.
The Mathildenhöhe is one of the most
famous sides of Darmstadt with a great history in
art (known especially for its colony of artists); the
'Hochzeitsturm' ('wedding tower') showing the
fi ve fi ngers of one hand can be found again in a
schematic abstraction in the city's logo. In order to
make sure that the side remains attractive to visi-
tors, tourists and mostly elderly people, the town
decided to tighten security laws there. Surveil-
lance cameras were put up and security personnel
patrols with dogs to ensure everything looks nice
and no one sits on the grass. Even slight deviant
behaviour - far below social disorder like public
drunkenness or urinating - is punished by being
ordered off the park. The city's attempts to ensure
a so-called safe and nice-looking environment
that can be used for place-marketing emphasizing
the city's potential in fi ne art, leisure and recre-
ation and as a good host for tourists have created
an atmosphere of unease; the quality of the place
has decreased to those staying there longer than a
guided tour would take.
The way back on the right-hand side con-
trasts sharply with the fi rst one - it shows a dif-
ferent kind of dwelling, namely a formerly
workers' housing estate in a close neighbour-
hood. The problems of increased density of
dwellings, like rubbish, social disorder or dilapi-
dation, are mainly mentioned in the interview,
but the serial character of dwellings is depicted.
In the second collage, 5 fi ve segments can
be identifi ed, representing different themes and
paths, connected to each other by one picture
in the middle, a photomontage looking like a
postcard. The starting pictures of each of these
fi ve walks through Darmstadt's imaginary space
are situated here (Fig. 6.5).
Labour and internment camp;
und Industrie');
Houses and courtyards at the Magdale-
Formerly private bank ('Bank für Handel
Residential castle.
The labour and internment camp was located
on the property of the Telekom's research cen-
tre directly after the Second World War (by
allied forces) and fragments of it, like the old
gatehouse with the main entrance, are still exist-
ing, but usually don't get noticed, even by peo-
ple working there for 10 or more years, like the
student taking these pictures.
The second theme shows a view of a bar-
rack square on the same area as the internment
camp, the Kavalleriesand-Kasernen. The original
picture was taken after the war and the partici-
pant tried to fi nd the exact position again from
which the old photo was taken, trying to show
the relationship of tension between similarities
and changes that occurred over the decades.
This basic idea determines the entire col-
lage - the quest for authenticity in fi nding the
exact spot the 'old' photos were taken from,
even if this involves barely legal activities (tres-
passing on private property, climbing out of the
garrets to take some of the pictures needed etc.).
The fi rst two motives have a very close
relationship to the biographical background of
the student, working at these locations for about
a decade before studying again. They represent
the main idea of this collage, identifying places
that the old pictures were taken from and trying
to show what remained, what was altered, van-
ished or which new elements appeared on the
scene - inspired by a publication doing just that
and evoking a fi rst interest in the rest of the city,
not just the place of work.
The third tour shows a former private bank
(until 1932; built 1873-1875), the Bank für
Handel und Industrie. It is located quite close to
5 This collage is analysed in Stoetzer (2006) too, and contrasted with another, inviting the observer to follow
traces other people have left behind.
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