Concrete for eternity

Atlantikwall Dänenark | ©

There are architectures that are meant for eternity. But nobody wants them. Not here in the now. And certainly not in eternity. Even if it feels like a plague of concrete, it’s architecture. We are photographically approaching one of the largest structures of the 20th century, the Atlantic Wall.

Concrete and delusion, these are two elements that, combined, have ideologically significant explosive power. Only the concrete can, once cast in delusion, hardly bring more to bursting. Such delusion is usually occult, satanic, no matter what belief the soul-dead lunatics pretend to live.

The pairing of megalomania and fear is exciting against this background of such meaningless monumental buildings. The outer dimensions betray much of the idea of ​​the Almighty, the volume of material at the same time about the cowardice of such self-appointed gods, the others burden their own psychological burden in the form of concrete.

Unimaginable but real, there are little minds who still look up to such tyrants and imagine their glory in the face, if only they can at least implement these soulless ideas, if not even increase them. However, this is not an expression of personal happiness, either among the despots or their loyal followers. And so remains a monument, indestructible, immovable, for the perceived eternity, perhaps actually to the end of the world, stand and betrays, which devilish grimaces were the inspiration for such projects.

The Drama: This concrete-poured spirit-spray built for eternity is set in an environment where it truly lives in a paradisiacal way, as one might imagine the eternity in his dreams. Now it may be speculated whether the only desirable paradise is crushed by the paranoid created concrete complex or such complexes sink by their own gravity into the softness and softness of the paradisiacal environment.

The Atlantic Wall is considered to be the largest defensive structure in history during construction, serving propaganda rather than real defense. The perverse thing is that the entire complex had to be built by people who were sworn by the same dictators to enemies and forced to forced labor.

Under conditions of deprivation and inhumane conditions, they built 12,247 bunkers and gun stands, building 17.3 million tons of concrete and 1.2 million tons of steel. It must have been hundreds of thousands of people who were enslaved and largely killed or starved of malnutrition and fatigue for this nonsense. They were torn out of their personal, little paradise and could not do anything but sustainably contribute to the destruction of other small and large earthly paradises.

Even if in the professional world the attempt was started to assign the architecture to a style direction such as expressionism, concrete in this constellation has no more style than its architects.

Well, the war is long over, he does not really care about us anymore. There are hardly any people who have actively experienced the war. And yet we encounter this concrete, in the midst of our little paradise, in the midst of the sun, the beach and the sea. No, the war can not be solved so easily and as already noted, not even its eternal architecture. So how to handle it?

In Denmark, for example, 7,000 bunkers and shooting ranges were erected and just 1,000 of these concrete blocks were removed. A demolition is hard to finance, a blast too damaging to the environment. Even the building has massively changed the landscapes along the Atlantic Wall. Entire streets were demolished. Destroying forests for the extraction of the formwork, dug dune, built huge forced labor camp …. Once again a comparably costly incision could not and can no longer convey.

Thus, the culture of remembrance so repressed by the Right remains poured into concrete, unadulterated, clearly conclusive, and it shows the stupidity of the people of yesteryear and today who express their power in concrete and do not realize how small they are.

Slowly I begin to accept the bunkers, the war architecture as a visible remnant. But I do not want to accept that such a story is repeated in Europe, nor that my children should one day bow to concrete heads, soul-dead, scared, foolish, cowardly. Concrete is supposed to create a home, but not destroy a home.

But how do you pack all this into a picture and transport it accordingly? For one thing, there was a very famous family at that time who saved people from forced labor, deportation and assassination and survived without damage because their products were important to the war: the Leitz family with their already world-famous Leicas. All the more it feels good for me to record this form with an analog camera from their house.

The shots should not distort, do not go beyond the drama already done, so the distortion-free wide-angle lens with 28mm focal length is the right choice. In addition, the subjects are historical substance, with all gray, with all the cold and with all the contrast to the peaceful and beautiful landscape.

Based on the footage from that time, I chose the Kodak Tri X, which for decades was the epitome of documentary film and its deductions, if filled with content, touched then and now. In order to increase the contrast slightly, the pictures were taken with an orange filter. Because the black architecture, as it is called in relation to its result, should be given just as dark and dramatic. It is shown as context with the peaceful and paradisiacal landscape in which the ideology, shaped in concrete, shows one. She disturbs.

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