halfway there

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Résumés – images of women
Girlfriends, cousins, neighbours, in a row from left to right, the youngest left, the eldest right, pupils, baker, nurse, small town sky, spring in the Ruhr District, garage wall and green lawn with laundry poles. The young one, the older one; the age difference can be noticed in many ways. In their gazes, in the way they stand in front of the camera. Holding hands, posing hands. Smiling. A cheek bone pink and cold fingers.
Linking arms, a women’s gesture, protecting from other gazes, to get dressed up all the same and show togetherness. We, you, I, a row of skirts, a continual series, in countless family photographs, in black and white and later in colour.
The Ruhr District sky and the coolness of spring counteract. Lead the coloured pleated skirts, the blouses and pullovers, the narrow women’s watches into the tristesse of daily life. Into misunderstandings, into not-being-able-to-understand, even though one is similar.
The environment will separate. Either one stays or leaves. Go separate ways, go the same way, stay in one’s hometown, move to another town, visit mothers, forget the friends of one’s youth, never have others, want to become like the others, want to become who one is.
And still stand in a row, smiling into the camera, arms linked and think that this will be a fragile day a day in spring, in one’s hometown, with the others in the photograph and memories of coolness on cheek bones. Birgit Szepanski

And what became of us
And what became of us in the suburbs, what were we looking torwards and what boys later became our husbands later and how one can spot that, what the future holds for us in those David Lynch films of our youth – passions and this: looking at each other, standing together and linking arms – this body language from a long-forgotten era. And what prophesies we made back then again and again based on this picture. Who will leave and who will stay here, for example? And who will be left on the shelf later? And from then on, we re-made this slide, every year on the 13th March and we projected it onto the wall together just a short time afterwards and secretly in our girl’s bedrooms, every year, one overlapping the other, with different projectors from different angles, we re-invented composite photography in our way. And it became a kind of long-term study of ourselves. And wistfulness came over us as we saw that the skirts got shorter then longer again and at some point trousers, and when the first in our group didn’t show up and was buried and then the second one. Rainer totzke




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