6th of November 2017
30nm northern of the Libyan Coast
They don't want to be heros
In the Mediterranean Sea, 30 nm in front of the Libyan Coast volunters from all over the world spend their free time and all their energy and effort to safe people in distress. Every day non sea worthy rubberboats starts from the Libya, always overcrowded, always in a bad condition. The news tell about the refugee crisis but nobody shows the people, who actually don`t discuss but do something. They wish their work would be don´t by official coordinated sea rescues. But as long as people dying on their way to Europe they can`t shut their eyes and ignore what is happening. So they choose their holidays, all their free times to go on one of the NGO Search and Rescue Ships to help people in need. We don`t know their names, we don`t know their faces. They don`t want to be heros but they have to.
A secret is an inner place of lonelyness
"I met him in a bar. He played a show with his band. I didn`t want to go to there, didn`t like the music. Somehow I ended up there. We talked. He asked if he could sleep at my place and I said `no`. A few drinks later I said yes. We walked to my place, it was a freezing night in January. It was so cold. On the bridge when I grapped his hand, he told me weeks later, was the moment he felt in love with me. We had sex and on the next morning his band picked him up and he left. I thought I might not see him ever again and that was okay. But we stayed in contact. During his tour through Europe he visited me a second time. Intense twenty two hours.
I felt exhausted, constanly nausea and didn´t understand why. Until this Sunday morning in February. I called him. It was in the middle of the night at his place. `I am pregnant`. His first choice was against a child, but would stand with my decision, he said. The hardest weeks of my life started. I couldn`t do it, couldn`t stick to a decision, was left alone from everybody. The person I always considered as my closest friend left me. The friendship never discovered. The body suffered, the soul, the mind. Left in a solitude nobody could fill.
Months later we saw us again. The daily life and the incredible landscape of Oregon and the Pacific around us. Six weeks. Good moments but also hard ones. Something was between us. We had been bounded together by the happening. Maybe we wouldn`t have sticked together if it hadn`t happend. But it did. It was in my mind, it was in his mind. We talked, but it was to early. It hadn`t been processed. I went back home. Weeks later he visited me. He was so much in love. So deeply. Wanted a child, a shared room. An appartment. Everything. I couldn´t do it. My life was so different. Our ways to separated. I loved him, but couldn`t live with him. Maybe it was just an idea of how love might look like. The ideas we had, the dreams we dreamed in the good moments, stayed dreams. We had this secret. It bounded us together but we had been too lonely in this secret to get our lifes together. We stayed in contact for the rest of our lives. He had became a crucial part of my life, of a solitude."
2016 / 2017
Since 1860 in Cashilas vessels for merchant shipping has been build. In September 1961 the world largest dry dock was build. Lisnave - Estaleiros Navais de Lisboa, in Cashilas, facing the city of Lisbon on the other side of the river Tejo. The dry dock was constructed to build and accomodate large vessels. Houndreds of dockers and workers spend their days here. In the 1970s the big oil crisis happend. Owing to a lack of demand Lisnave didn`t survive this crisis and was shout down. A few workers changed to Mitrena, Setubal, others found work in the terminals on the other side of the river. A lot of people lost their jobs. Some never recoverd. For the future they plan to build luxuray appartments. The port crane - seen from the city of Lisbon, from the airplanes crossing Lisbon, from the bridges crossing the river - reminds of an bygone era.
Exhibition Schlecker Galerie, Kiel
As most of the works dealing with the Sea, shipping industries, seafarering and the life on board and exhibition of the ongoing collection was built. It showed single art works, photographic series of “Meersucht“, “Lisnave“ and the work about dockers and yard workers. A collection of the own seafaring time of the artist, who sailed as engine cadet and technical officer assistant on various merchant ships. The gallery is located in Gaarden, a part of Kiel connected to the shipyard. After the the second world war gastarbeiter working for the shipyard Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW) moved to this part of Kiel. Gaarden is known for its high rate of migrants, drug addicts and rough life conditions.
Dockers, Terminal Santa Apolonia
2016 / 2017
Lisbon has a few terminals for merchant shipping industries. Since the early beginning this city has been famous for his seafaring history. Most we know is about the seafarer and the vessels which left Europe. Till now seafaring is one of the main factors of global trade. We know less about the ships, about the conditions on board. There is a big tradition of shantys and seafaring historie in poems, songs, paintings and literature. We hear about the rough but romantic life of sailors which has nothing to do with the life of seafarers nowadays. The awarness of this industry rised a bit in the last years as the style of sailing became famous and the enviromental aspect of seafaring and the polution of the Oceans became main topics in news and politics. The struggle of the dock workers, the rough working conditions in ports didn`t find attention.
Shipyard Worker Kiosk
Ten in the morning. Coffee break. A coffee. For some their first beer. A few minutes of break. Leaving the shipyard. Walking along the street where sometimes tourists get lost on their way alongside the quay. They don`t pay attention. Neither to the small kiosk nor to the shipyard workers. Most of the workers don`t live in Lisbon. They arrive in the moring in a bus from their collective accomodation. Some are from Italy, others from small villages all around Portugal. Others live in the suburbs, with a wife, children, sometimes already grandchildren. A coffee, a beer. The first break of a long day is over. In groups or in solitude they walk back. Enter the gate and are swallowed by the shipyard. A few more hours until they left the yard again for the next break.
Shipyard Worker Kiosk, Terminal Alcantara
"You shouldn`t go there, girl"
"I just wanted to be free, to do what I want to do. I just wanted to leave the hotel. To be on my own. After days, weeks forced to spend my day how others told me. After days and weeks of a rhythm others decided for me. After weeks of food, of rice and water. After weeks of a 6 square meter cabin I just wanted to walk. Not just the 240 meters to the bow and back on a sunday afternoon if no work needed to be done, but all along the coast, as long as my broken body would be able to walk. The sun on my skin, the feed on a steady ground. Step after step. Nothing could become worse relating to the last weeks. I walked and walked and ended up in a place people would have warned me about if they would have spoken my language and known where I would go. But nobody warned me. The first person who spoke to me was a drug addicted woman. A needle in her hand she asked to sell me shot. Men on the other side of the alley observed us. I was obvioulsy not a citizen but also didn`t look like a tourist to rob. Nobody harmed me in any way. Not in the place where I shouldn`t go. But the agents who didn`t try to understand, company - they almost managed to broke me. I am glad that I went to the place where I shouldn`t go. Especially not as a girl. I get in contact with an drug addicts, but I also get in contact with real humans who show their real faces and didn`t smile while dagging a knife in my back."
For the few warm summer months in a year Lazy at the Baltic Sea in Poland becomes a bustling village. Cars arrive, caravans, families with children. For a few weeks this village increases the amount of residents for multiple 100%s. From one day to another everything stops. The cars left, the caravans, the families with their children, sleeping on the rear bench seat. The streets left empty, the houses and camping grounds abandoned. Wood in front of the windows, nailed up shops. For the next six to eight months nobody is going to enter this city.
Meersucht / Sea Addiction
North Atlantic, Gulf of St. Lawrence, English Channel, North and Baltic Sea
2013 - 2016
„Meersucht - An Bord der MV Atlantic Companion“
"Sea Addiction - Aboard the MV Atlantic Companion"
A book with photographies followed by texts about the life at sea, about the different areas on board, about the daily life and the sea scapes, about the changings of person due to their work at and with the sea.
Limited First Edition
Muthesius Verlag, Kiel 2016
224 Pages / 149 Photographies
German & English
44º40`N 63º37`W to 51º41`N 11º51`W
2014 Prima Kunst Gallery, Kiel
The video projection shows the Eastbound from Canada to European. Meanwhile the sound of the bridge is around and due to the sonic a vibration arise. An experience of being on board of a container vessel at the bridge while crossing the North Atlantic.
They went to school, they work, they study. They live a normal life. For a few days, a few weeks they change their ordinary life to a life on the roads. They offer up their vacations to drive for hours and hundreds of kilometers from city to city. For 35 minutes on stage. Thirtyfive minutes for a life time.
The Hague, Netherlands
Fühlst du, wie die Flammen schwärmen,
Glut aushauchen, wohlig wärmen,
Wiedas Feuer, flackrig-wild,
Dich in warme Wellen hüllt?
(Excerpt, "Feuer" J. Krüss)
“Ich bin gekommen, ein Feuer anzuzünden auf Erden; ach was wollte ich lieber, als dass es schon brenne." Bible, NT LK 12,49