Unfinished Fragments Of Prora
“Late this evening I looked at the sky and saw the stars. I felt as if it was the first time I had ever looked at them. I was stunned. The stars made an extraordinary impression on me.”
When Markus Georg Reintgen visited Prora for the first time, he visited it with an analog camera. He was returning to Prora like Tarkovsky’s Stalker was returned to the Zone. Prora is Markus’ Zone where he captured the transformation with great respect and responsibility.
Markus work of examination of the architecture complex on the Island of Rügen began in 2008. It was first time presented at the exhibition What’s Unfolding curated by Regine Ehleiter. Before this time the coastal resort was unfinished by the National Socialists, later used by the East Germany military and has been under the development into a residential and hotel complex since 2010. Markus research is based on photo documentation, but since 2016 is not possible anymore as Blocks I to IV became a closed construction site, therefore not accessible anymore to him because of his wheelchair.
He succeeded to document the transformation of Prora from 2008 to 2016. With a method of photographing he captures buildings from a very low angle. Such method is close to the constructivist avant-garde photography of the Germany 1920s and 1930s, whose representatives were oppressed and persecuted by the National Socialist regime. The analogue black and white photographs, which were taken with a historical camera bought by his mother during 1959 trip to Denmark, are constructed predominantly as pairs of images. Different phases of Prora’s architecture were captured with ADOX Golf 63 camera, which exposes 12 square images in 56 x 56 mm format on a roll film. The small viewfinder allows only a rough cut-out. At the same time he worked with his head camera, which captures more precise shoots. His motives are previously prepared with his sketches for space combinations. The photo pairs are a reflection of the technical precision and his strong sense of intuition.
With Tarkovsky’s thoughts from Solaris we shall conclude this time trip and position Markus’ work on the experience: “When i sleep, i know no fear, no, trouble no bliss. blessing on him who invented sleep. the common coin that purchases all things, the balance that levels shepherd and king, fool and wise man. there is only one bad thing about sound sleep. they say it closely resembles death.”