The templates from the course »Pop-up book Creation« by Silvia Hijano Coullaut served as a starting point. While working on them, the first ideas which sites, eras or events would work as a pop-up.
I started with a short history of the area last used as the »Stars and Stripes Coompound«. It consists of material I had used before in my portfolios »The Paprika Village« and »Greetings from the Parade Ground« plus two new images. The base is the pile of old issues of this newspaper, rotting in a former guardhouse for years. Photos from 1930, 1952, 2007 and today build the sides of the unfolding square. For the cover, I used a detail of the sign at the entrance together with the newspaper’s logo. I like the result and think the image sequence works and gives an impression of the building’s history.
The second motif was created in phases. During the last module, I bought the soldier’s photograph. An excellent image for which I have not yet found a use. But now he had his appearance! I combined him with a look into the former »Offizier Frühstücks-Casino« (Officer’s breakfast mess). The result was good but hadn’t enough story in my eyes. I rummaged in my postcard archive and found some group shots of pre-ww1 soldiers. To integrate them into the object, I used a fling card or waterfall card mechanism. In this prototype, the construction is taped on the background image. Later, I would like to integrate this more into the base. Also, I would add some explanatory text or transcripts of the postcards.
As the proverb goes, practice makes perfect. The last example isn’t thematically related to my FMP but to my exercises in making pop-up objects. My mother-in-law got eighty these days. I used the occasion to create a v-fold card showing her in photographs through the years. What makes the card exciting is the irregular contour on the top. The principle, V-fold plus irregular form, could be helpful for landscape or architectural view.
My conclusion: The pop-up techniques will help my Final Major Project to visualise the story of the land. And it is a lot of fun to learn and practise them.
List of Figures:
Figure 1: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Exercises from the Pop-up book course.
Figure 2: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Pop-up object »Stars and Stripes-Compound«, front cover.
Figure 3: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Pop-up object »Stars and Stripes-Compound«, view with the image from 1952.
Figure 4: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Pop-up object »Stars and Stripes-Compound«, view with an image from today.
Figure 5: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Pop-up object »Stars and Stripes-Compound«, view with the images from 2007 and 1930.
Figure 6: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Pop-up object »Stars and Stripes-Compound«, back cover.
Making my photographs three-dimensional is something I am thinking about for a longer time. In a CRJ-post from September 2020 (Rauschkolb 2020), I quoted Joseph Beuys’ statement, »Also Skulptur, mit der Skulptur ist etwas zu machen!« and »Alles ist Skulptur« (»Well, sculpture, there is something to be done with sculpture!« and »Everything is sculpture«, Joseph Beuys – ‘Dank an Wilhelm Lehmbruck’ (Letzte Rede) 2013). I thought about photographic objects and visualised them in a 3D-software. With the Final Major Project, it is time to make them real and get them out of the virtual space.
A few weeks ago, I was always thinking about photographic objects in an exhibition, mixing them with photographs and composings hanging on a wall. It is a possible way, but it has a disadvantage: People can see it, perhaps touch or move it. But when they left the exhibition with a book about the project, there is only a static photograph of the object they can take with them. With this, making a pop-up book as a part of the project’s outcome came to my mind. I own a small collection of them and love to browse through them and see what happens when I open a page. Together with the designers’ craftsmanship, this mix of playfulness and knowledge transfer make these objects so exciting. I decided to research and learn about making them by myself.
My thought behind this matches my intention for the FMP: Making people interested in the land’s history, its heritage. A pop-up book could solve several problems. At first, this kind of book allows for easy access to complex subjects with its tangibility and playfulness. Second, it will enable an exhibition visitor to take three-dimensional objects with home. Not only one, but all the ones exhibited. It makes the exhibition »movable«, like Marcel Duchamp’s »Boîte-en-valise« (‘5 Minutes with… Marcel Duchamp’s Boîte-En-Valise | Christie’s’ 2020). Third, it will make sculptural art more affordable. Simply because the book, or portfolio, will be much cheaper than an object in a limited edition.
I started to learn about the mechanics of the pop-up book with a course at Domestika.org. Here, a Madrid based designer guides you through the basic techniques (‘”Pop-Up Book Creation” – Craft Online Course by Silvia Hijano Coullaut’ 2021). It is a short course, not expensive and well made. If anyone is interested in this subject, I would recommend this as a good starting point.
I added Keith Finch’s book »Paper Engineering for Designers« to my library to expand my knowledge. By the way, an excellent book with a lot of practical exercises (Finch 2013).
An important fact I learned about this kind of book: It contains only five to seven pages. I see this limitation not as a problem because I always think of a »classic« book and a pop-up book together as the final output. The New-York based magazine »Visionaire« serves as an inspiration for how to get around this limitation. For the edition »55 Surprise«, they worked together with paper engineer Bruce Foster to bring artworks from artists like Andreas Gursky, Sophie Calle or Mario Testino into the third dimension (‘VISIONAIRE 55 SURPRISE’ 2021). Instead of making one book, they decided to make ten objects, something between a two-page book and a big card and put them in a case — a fantastic inspiration in my eyes.
The research about pop-up books started when my supervisor Laura Hynd asked me in the last 1:2:1 if I had done more profound research about this subject. I must confess, I hadn’t until this time. I did, and my conviction that these books are more than children’s books has been confirmed. An article from TrendHunter gives an excellent overview (Pijak 2015) of the medium’s possibilities.
List of Figures:
Figure 1: Barbara KLEMM. 1970. At work: 50 years ago, Joseph Beuys installed his “Block Beuys” in Darmstadt. He changed the installation several times. Now the Hessisches Landesmuseum is taking a close look at the action objects. Offenbach Post [online]. Available at: https://www.op-online.de/hessen/energien-zusammenfliessen-13539667.html [accessed 8 Apr 2021].
Figure 2: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Pop-up books from my collection. Books displayed:(FRAYLING, Christopher, Helen FRAYLING and Ron VANDERMEER. 1993. Das Kunst-Paket: ein Streifzug durch die bildende Kunst mit einleuchtenden Beispielen, dreidimensionalen Bildern und vielerlei erstaunlichen Effekten. München: arsEd.
ANDERSON, Kelli. 2015. This Book Is a Planetarium: And Other Extraordinary Pop-up Contraptions. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books LLC.
ALDRIN, Buzz, Marianne J DYSON, Bruce FOSTER, and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY. 2019. Meine Reise zum Mond und zurück mein Apollo-11-Abenteuer: ein Pop-up-Buch. Milano: WS White Star s.r.l.
RADEVSKY, Anton. 2000. Raumfahrt: ein Pop-up-Buch. Köln: Könemann.
And now I hand over to Steve Bisson, and again: Thank you for writing this.
»Where there is memory, there is oblivion because life is not recoverable; it is a constant loss, a sort of bleeding.«
A historical re-enactment through images. A kaleidoscope vision starting from a place where various military events intersect the gaze of the viewer. Marcel Rauschkolb, like a hunter, scrupulously chases traces and collects all sorts of them. Archival photos, maps, postcards, technical drawings, historical annotations, and many other items giving life to a theater of memory made up of composed sets — landscapes of remembrance. Meta-images accompanied by captions full of information that serve to catapult the reader, such as many cinematographic flashbacks, through airfield and parade grounds, barracks, and other military memorabilia of the twentieth century. In the demiurge’s skilled hands who weaves together the chapters of Griesheim’s recent history as polygonal memory vertices.
What is all this for? If we have to remember, it is because we have forgotten. Otherwise, if everything were present, we would not need it. Instead, we must strive because life happens and disappears. Where there is memory, there is oblivion because life is not recoverable; it is a constant loss, a sort of bleeding. And so in this landscape reconstruction of memory, there is an attempt to heal, to heal this wound. All this generates awareness of a past, of something that we are no longer. The fantasy of the desired place is, of course, immeasurable compared to an accurate reconstruction. I wonder, does the past exist? The past is a memory taking place in a present, transcription in writing, orality, or even a recomposed image. And can photography become the past? Of course not; it is always a present that exists when we observe it. And it is still partial, a portion of history, which helps us fantasize, imagine, project our gaze back, savor a memory, and forward it into the future, like an old perfume from a pastry shop that takes us back to childhood in no time.
If so, what’s next. Can art, therefore, become an act of celebration that takes history away from the wear of passing the time? Sure it is; these »Greetings« from Griesheim are here to prove it, to stimulating us to such an imagination of the past, and to invite us to reflect on memory function. Can individuals and peoples benefit from memory? Nietzsche has written valuable words about the use and abuse of history. A lesson that is still relevant. When a staging of history is an end in itself or coincides with a formal celebration, a school exercise, it becomes a degeneration. If, on the other hand, we move from a need to understand pain, the precariousness of life with all its metamorphoses, the fragility of ambitions, the succession of dreams, ideas, presumptions, perennial destruction, and to feel part of this infinite tragedy, unavoidable, unavoidable, then we find ourselves in front of a generation of constructive memory. And isn’t this culture?
Prof. Steve Bisson Paris College of Art Chief editor Urbanautica Institute
List of Figures:
Figure 1: Unknown maker. Stamped 1912. Gruss vom Griesheimer Übungsplatz [postcard, own collection].
Figure 2: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. 1893 and today. The area in the south-east of Griesheim was used since 1855 for military purposes. »These events happened in the past, but their effects continue into the present, « writes Marianne Hirsch. The traces I found on my walks, like the old airfield entrance, triggered the interest in discovering their history.
Figure 3: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. The Parade Ground. Postcards, often with idealized and sometimes humorous motifs, are sources to get an impression of the parade ground’s life. It is hard to imagine that on a yearly average, 20000 soldiers lived here.
Figure 4: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. Offizier Frühstücks-Casino (Officers breakfast mess). While the average soldier stayed in corrugated iron shacks, officers had a more comfortable life. What is a ruin today was the Officer’s breakfast mess. It was built around 1900, on a site that is reclaimed by nature now. The orange security area in the map shows the ground’s security area. Interestingly, the 1915’s camp plan streets are more or less on the same location as in today’s residential area.
Figure 5: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. Le Camp du Griesheim. As a result of the First World War, the German government had to agree to withdraw all German troops from the western front behind the Rhine. From 1919 to 1930, Griesheim was located in one of the bridgeheads of the French zone. The French army used the parade ground, and the streets got french names. Also, the postcards were used again, with the old motifs and the text changed to french. The building here initially named »Württemberg Officer’s Club«, was now a part of the French garrison. From 1937 on, it was used by the »German Research Institute for Sailplane Flights«. After WWII, the U.S. Army used it until 2005.
Figure 6: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. Darmstadt Dust Off. American troops reached Griesheim and Darmstadt on 25 March 1945. They immediately confiscated the airfield and the parade ground area. The airfield was now called »Griesheim Army Airfield«. Several MEDEVAC (Medical evacuation) units were stationed here until 1992. They used »Dust Off« as a call sign, as usual in the U.S. Army.
Figure 7: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. Missiles and Mythology. Despite protests from the population of Griesheim, Nike missiles of the »Ajax« and later »Herkules«-type were stationed in Griesheim from 1957 on. These could be equipped with both conventional and nuclear warheads. Thus, the Army Airfield became a »Missile Facility« during the Cold War until the missiles were decommissioned in 1985.
Figure 8: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. »Hessenflieger« and »Darmstadt Flying Club«. The airfield was founded in 1908 by August Euler. Even though most of the airport’s history is military in nature, there have always been civilian clubs that have been able to use the grounds. It started with the »Aero-Club«, who trained glider-pilots. They had to stop this in 1957 because of the close distance to the Nike-missiles. Later, in 1924 founded »Hessenflieger« and the »Darmstadt Flying Club«, founded by two American officers, used the airfield from 1972 until the American withdrawal in 1992.
Figure 9: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. The Stars and Stripes-Compound. The newspaper for the U.S. troops, reborn in London in 1942, was located in Griesheim since 27 September 1949. In former military barracks, right next to the airfield are newsroom, print shop and finance department located. In the 1950s the print run is 100.000 pieces. In 2000, the print run decreased, and the print shop in Griesheim is closed. In 2008, the »Stripes« move to Kaiserslautern. Since this time, the area decays, like the pile of newspapers lying in the guardhouse for years.
Figure 10: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. Family housing. On the northern side of Nehringstreet, you find typical German post-war buildings. In the southern part, a different kind of architecture appears. What was fallow land, became in the 1980s the location for eight rows of terrace houses for American families. Made of wooden construction elements, they seem to be teleported from an American village. In opposite to their German neighbours, they weren’t connected to the local supply network. The (U.S.-) power plant supported them with water and energy. In 2008, the site was deactivated. I close with Simon Critchley: »Memory is repetition. Sure. But it is repetition with a difference«. The abandoned Family housing will be torn down soon, and new residential buildings will take their place.
I started my presentation with one of our last meeting tasks: Finding a temporary or working title. I decided to call my project »A Theater of Warfare and Aviation«. Source, therefore, is the military term describing a place in which »important military events occur or are processing« (‘Theater (Warfare)’ 2021). For example, the US Army called the European battleground the »European Theater« (‘History WW2 – European Theatre | United States Military Academy West Point’ 2021). And for me, the abandoned military terrain in my neighbourhood is my personal »theater« where military and aviation events occurred.
I continued with the images that evolved in the last weeks. The handheld panoramas made the beginning. I love this kind of showing a broad overview of a site. Even if I construct them digitally, I work in an »analogue mode« by simply overlapping the images. The files are huge, approximately two metres wide.
I showed the stills I took at the »August-Euler-Museum« with their neutral, light grey background. Laura commented that they could serve as a base for sculptural work.
Additionally, I picked up an old idea from the last course. In a 3×3 grid, I arranged images about a specific place. I started with the missile launch area and the Stars and Stripes-Compound. I like this strict arrangement to tell the story of a place or an event. My idea for a future exhibition is to display them together with the montages and objects. Their strict arrangement creates a contrast to the montages with their overlays.
As a new element, I presented two grids I made of stills from old US Army movies about the Nike missile system (Nuclear Vault 2010). In Laura’s opinion, the real film serves as a method to show that life existed on these now abandoned and desolate sites. They can also serve as a foundation of this part of history.
With its cartoonish looking description of how a Nike missile works, the second movie grid leads Laura to the question of where my fascination for rockets and missiles comes from. I guess this originated in my childhood when my father woke me up to watch the Apollo rockets’ start.
This led to imagining of how a child fifty years ago would have looked at this site. Visually, this could be realised through lowering the camera or looking through a hedge, a fence. The last method is the one I am practising a lot this time. I often photograph through mesh fences because I haven’t access to a part of the site. This barrier annoyed me at first, but now I have learned that I can use this as a visual element. It could be seen as a metaphor. I look into another, the military, world. And I look into the history and future of a location.
The last point discussed was about pop-up books. I think of presenting the project in a book like this. I like the idea because this could transport a physical exhibition with all its three-dimensionality to everyone’s home. It has something playful because most pop-up books are made for children. But I think this could be a good way of arousing people’s interest in history with its easy access and tangibility. Thus, I applied to two courses about making these books at Domestika.org to learn the basics (‘”Pop-Up Book Creation” – Craft Online Course by Silvia Hijano Coullaut’ 2021 and ‘”Advanced Techniques for Creating Pop-Up Books” – Craft Online Course by Silvia Hijano Coullaut’ 2021).
List of Figures:
Figure 1: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. The Stars and Stripes-Compound, seen from the airfield tower.
Figure 2: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. The former Nike launch site, seen from the airfield tower
Figure 3: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Bomb for material transport.
Figure 4: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Old signpost of the US Army.
Since the beginning of my studies at Falmouth, I am taking most of my images with a digital medium format camera and a 45 mm lens. I love this simple setup; it makes me more concentrated on the pictures and not on the gear. A quote from Henri Cartier-Bresson comes to my mind:
»In any case, people think far too much about technique and not enough about seeing«
(Cartier-Bresson and Sand 1999, 38)
But from time to time, the situation asks for a longer lens. Here, my good old Hasselblad V-lenses come into play. I am pleased with the results so far, even if operating this setup is a little bit slower and more time-consuming. The most significant limitation is that the camera can only use these lenses with the electronic shutter. Hasselblad says about this:
»The camera will use the Rolling Shutter available on the sensor which has a read-out time of approximately 300 ms. This will cause distortion of the image if the camera or subject is moving during the exposure«
(‘X1D-II-50C User Guide’ 2020, 105)
Most of my images from yesterday were okay and had a normal appearance. But a few showed strange but exciting effects. The reason is simple: I photograph handheld through a mesh fence standing on unstable ground. It is possible that I slightly moved during the exposure. With a »normal« shutter, these movements would not be visible at these exposure times (the shutter speeds were between 1/125 and 1/8000).
I must say that I like the results; they look exciting and bring something new to my photographs of these abandoned sites: The warped building reminding of a distorting mirror at a fairground. And then this movement, my movement, projected on the static traces of history. In some of the images, it seems as if the buildings are flowing away.
At this moment, I don’t know what to do with them. They contrast to my more straight or direct shots of the sites and the constructed montages I did. They are more uncontrolled and random, which is perhaps their appeal. But I will keep them and see what happens.
List of Figures:
Figure 1: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Building on the former Stars and Stripes-Compound, seen from North (d280-045).
Figure 2: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. The main building and the printing facility of the former Stars and Stripes-Compound (d280-032).
Figure 3: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Buildings on the former Stars and Stripes-Compound (d280-024).
Figure 4: MarcelRAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Trees and clouds at the former Stars and Stripes-Compound (d280-030).
CARTIER-BRESSON, Henri and Michael L. SAND. 1999. The Mind’s Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers. 1st ed. New York, N.Y: Aperture.
I am not a big fan of recommendation engines on websites. But sometimes, they are helpful, as the one which showed me Paul Virilios’ »Bunker Archeology«. Because of the title, I got interested in the book. At least for the moment, my work is not about bunkers but about abandoned military sites, too. With this, I wanted to learn how the French philosopher dealt with military buildings.
His worked started during a summer holiday at the French Atlantic coast in 1958. Here, Virilio discovered the »Atlantikwall«-bunkers, which he describes as »a solid inclined mass of concrete« and a »worthless object« (Virilio 2009, 11). And he mentions his approach: »I got up and decided to have a look around this fortification as if I had seen it for the first time« (Virilio 2009, 11). I think this is an interesting idea, especially for a photographer working on a long-term project. With this in mind, you can see new or undiscovered details on locations often visited. He also writes that his »objective was solely archaeological« (Virilio 2009, 11 ) and that he »would hunt these grey forms of concrete until they would transmit to him a part of their mystery« (Virilio 2009, 11). He describes the narrowness of the bunkers’ inside and examines all elements in detail. In the text, it is apparent that he studied architecture and taught at a college for architecture. His investigation lasted from 1958 to 1965. The book was published in 1975 for the exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris.
In the essays, Virilio explains warfare’s and its architecture’s history and the changes over time, especially in the second world war. He must have researched very carefully, which becomes apparent in the richness of detail in the texts. He shows the different types of bunkers built at the Atlantikwall with architectural drawings and ads a short biography of responsible Albert Speer.
Virilios’ systematic approach continues in the black and white images of the bunkers. They are presented in five chapters, depending on their use and location. Here he shows the German bunkers in France, but also their counterparts on the channel islands and the United Kingdom.
The last chapter, titled »An aesthetics of Disappearance«, reminded me of my youth. As a child, I visited the French island Île de Ré, located vis-à-vis of La Rochelle. When we drove to the ferry, we saw the Germans’ big submarine bunkers in the harbour. Because they weren’t destroyable, the merchant navy used them as storage. We found more bunkers at the beaches of the Île de Ré. Built on the top of the dunes, they were now sunk into the sand. A fantastic playground for us as children. Through the bunkers’ slope, we lost orientation after a few minutes of walking inside them. I thought of this when looking at Virilio’s photographs of the abandoned monoliths in this last category. And I believe that these memories also gave the impetus to read the book.
Virilio’s way of categorizing and intertwining historical documents with (at this time) new photography to tell a story of military architecture is relevant input for my Final Major Project. What I would like to do different is the way of telling the story. Virilios’ style is remarkably sober, except for the part where he describes the start of his project. I want to make mine more personal.
»For me the organization of space would now go hand in hand with the manifestations of time.«
I will end with this quote. I really love it because it fits my project, too. All these buildings and sites in my neighbourhood represent a certain timespan, a government, an army.
In sum, I can say that I like the book and learned a lot of historical facts from it.
List of Figures:
Figure 1 – 3: Paul VIRILIO. 2009. Title and pages 49 and 109 fromBunker Archeology. English ed. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
VIRILIO, Paul. 2009. Bunker Archeology. English ed. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Since I am working on Griesheims’ quarter »Sankt Stephan«, I mentioned »a small private museum« on the former airfield a few times in my presentations. At this time, it is the only institution that preserves the memory of the site. August Euler, aviation pioneer and founder of the airport, gave the museum its name, which a supporter’s association maintains.
Outside, a visitor can see two exhibits: The Volkswagen bus with its yellow-black pattern and the front segment of a Douglas DC-6 aeroplane. New to me were the two inconspicuous Nissen huts beside the tower building. One contains the exhibition; the other one is a storage room. I had the chance to visit them two times in the last weeks. For me, it was like discovering a kind of »Wunderkammer«, and the items shown served as an inspiration for the development of my project.
I will make a slight digression: I use the German word here because it has a beautiful sound and suggests secrets that have to be uncovered. I found an English translation: »Chamber of art and wonders«. In it, »artefacts and natural objects were presented as an image of the macrocosm, as a new earthly order in miniature« (Beßler 2015). It is a fashion that was present from the 15th to the 18th century, especially in southern Germany.
But back to the museum. The collection consists of original artefacts of the places’ military and aviation history and a range of aeroplane models. To give a better impression of the place, I produced a virtual tour of it. To open it, click the image below or use this link: https://www.marcelrauschkolb.de/augusteulermuseum
I had the idea for longer to add still lifes into the project. What I have in mind is to give a contrast to the more complex montages. Also, some objects, like the old aeroplanes’ dashboards, are complex enough in themselves and offer enough details for discovery to stand alone. At the same time, perhaps paired with an old image, they tell a part of the story. At the moment, I have only four items photographed. I experimented with the original but darkened background and with a very light grey. My favourite is the light one; even it is more work because I have to exempt the objects. But in the end, its neutral background and its neutrality are more what I am looking for.
By the way, I am now a member of the supporters association. What they do is essential, and I hope to help with my expertise to move the museum forward. Actually, because of a lack of space, some bigger items are located at Egelsbach airport. With this, I end my first report from the »August-Euler-Museum«.
List of Figures:
Figure 1: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Inside the »August-Euler-Museum« Figure 2: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. The airport apron-bus and the front segment of a Douglas DC-8 at the airfield entrance Figure 3: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. One of the museums’ Nissen huts Figure 4: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Virtual tour of the museum [online]. Available at: https://www.marcelrauschkolb.de/augusteulermuseum Figure 5: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Cockpit of a Messerschmidt Bf 109 G-6 Figure 6: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Cockpit (aeroplane unknown)
Just a short notice: My project »Greetings from the Parade Ground« is shortlisted for the Urbanautica Institute Awards 2020. I am very proud that they selected my portfolio. While the award winners were published in the catalogue, Urbanautica will introduce shortlisted projects in the journal.
About Urbanautica: Founded by Steve Bisson, it is an independent publisher of photography, visual anthropology and cultural landscapes. For everybody interested in these subjects, I would recommend taking a look at their journal. Exciting interviews and portfolios!
The portfolios resulted from the last two modules of my study and are the foundation of my Final Major Project. In general, there was a consensus among the reviewers. The subject, the history of a place, was well received and seemed interesting to them. The use of layering and montages received a mixed response. It is a good concept, but in some images, I did too much of it. The result: It isn’t easy to access and understand the picture, especially for outsiders. An important point that makes me think. With the FMP and its predecessors, my goal is to reach a local and a broader audience. The work is about local history, but events from European or World history caused it, left their traces or were mirrored in this little area. When I get through my portfolios, I have to agree with the reviewers; perhaps I had this thought unconsciously before. There are ones with a lot of layers, and I must say that my favourites at this time are the reduced ones, like »Missiles and Mythology«, »Darmstadt Dust Off«. Perhaps this fits also to my last images from the museum, where I started to photograph aeroplane cockpits on a neutral background. An essential point that I need to think about further if I want to reach more than locals with my work. It does not mean that I will stop using this technique, but be more careful with the number or way of layers. This is a thought I had before, to add single images from time to time or use archive image and new one side by side (this was a hint from Jack Latham, thank you!).
What pleased me very much was that all three saw a book or book object at the end of the project. It is exactly what my idea of the result is. Also, the thoughts about its design go in the same direction. It shouldn’t be flat, more three-dimensional. The idea of the different layers should be there and tangible, with varying sorts of paper, the use of fold-outs or peeling something apart to get access to the layers underneath. I hope I can do Joshs’ statement justice »The project could be an amazing book; it screams book!« Jack saw in the »Missiles and Mythology«-image something to be produced as a fold-out zine. This is something to think about: Producing smaller publications or zines in between to test print processing and bookbinding techniques.
At the end of my presentation, I showed two designs for sculptures of this work. Gary mentioned that a sculpture’s visitor is free to interpret it by walking around or changing the viewing distance. The danger, that this can led she/him lead to a wrong path. This opinion reminded me of Baudelaire’s critique of sculpture: »In vain, the sculptor tries to adopt a single point of view. The viewer moving around the figure can choose a hundred different viewpoints – except the right one! And it often happens (what an insult to the artist!) that an accidental effect of light and illumination reveals a beauty that he had not even dreamed of« (Baudelaire in Marcoci et al. 2010, 29). It is an important fact I have to keep in mind when working on this. The book, on the opposite, has a clearly defined start and end-point. Here, he made an interesting thought: »Think about a book that is sculptural« – I like this idea.
Also, the question of the sculpture’s location and tangibility came up. My preference would to show them at the original site, perhaps in or around the airfield museum. I thought about tangibility and physical engagement before. I like the idea that visitors can do something with them, maybe open a drawer, bring something into movement or flip through different images.
In sum, I can say that all three reviews and especially this consensus on some points were constructive for the further development of my work. There was praise, but also criticism and lots of helpful hints and ideas. And there are a lot more notes which I have to work through. This article serves as a summary of the essential points. Thank you all for looking at my work!
P.S: The quote in the title is from Jack.
List of Figures:
Figure 1: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. »The Parade Ground«. From the portfolio ‘Greetings from the Parade Ground’.
Figure 2: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. »Missiles and Mythology«. From the portfolio ‘Greetings from the Parade Ground’.
Figure 3: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. »Darmstadt Dust Off«. From the portfolio ‘Greetings from the Parade Ground’.
Figure 4: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Cockpit of a Messerschmidt Bf 109 G-6.
Figure 5: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2020. Rendering »The Stars and Stripes-Compound«.
Figure 6: Marcel RAUSCHKOLB. 2021. Rendering »Missiles and Mythology«.
RAUSCHKOLB, Marcel. 2021. Notes from portfolio reviews with Gary McLeod, Josh Lustig and Jack Latham.
MARCOCI, Roxana et al. (eds.). 2010. FotoSkulptur: die Fotografie der Skulptur 1839 bis heute ; [… anlässlich der Ausstellung ‘FotoSkulptur: die Fotografie der Skulptur 1839 bis Heute’ ;The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1. August – 1. November 2010 ; Kunsthaus Zürich, 25. Februar – 15. Mai 2011 ; Katalog]. [own translation] Ausstellung FotoSkulptur. Die Fotografie der Skulptur 1839 bis heute, Ostfildern, 2010, Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz.
Laura Hynd’s (my supervisor) suggestions for the progress of the project are:
Give the project a working title. This has not to be the final title, it can change or develop over time, but it serves as a framework for the work.
The project is multi-layered and broad at the moment, but that does not seem to be problematic. There are different ways in which the project can evolve and perhaps also presented to show the different aspects.
The advice is to keep exploring for the next six to eight weeks and using the network. Also, to involve fact and fiction, with daybooks or persons that acted here or were shown on photographs (like former POW’s, soldiers, civilians). The result could be subjective historical interpretations that tell »how life was here«.
More practical is the tip to make more use of the sketchbooks, to include more different material (photographs, sketches, drawings, maps) in it. It is not meant at the start to use it in the final work; this will narrow me down. It does not hast to be, but it could be a part of the later presentation. As an inspiration, the book »Photographers Sketchbooks« by Stephen McLaren and Bryan Formhals can serve.
Also, print the images and paste them on the wall to see »how they speak with each other«.
For making photographic sculptures, the advice is to think of weight and scale and experiment with it. These thoughts can also be useful when combining architectural images and smaller-scale features, like the airfield museum’s artefacts.
Building a dummy sculpture
Expanding my network. Here I mentioned my first meeting with the cities major. He is interested in collaborating and documenting the site with an artistic approach.
Deepen my knowledge about maps. I will attend the course »Mapping Worlds: Medieval to Modern« at the Warburg Institute.