Fotoeins Fotografie

location bifurcation, place & home

Posts tagged ‘Hessen’

22 for 22: Foto(ein)s for 2022

Above/featured: Vienna skyline from Kleinwasserkraftwerk Wehr I in early morning light. Photo, 7 Jun 2022.

For 2022, the act of looking forward and backward is dominated by a 4-week stay in the city of Vienna. In between the collected images is a reclaimed longing for the Austrian capital to which I was first introduced 20 years ago, but for which there was no camera and, sadly, no recorded pixels.

I’ve already described a set of images setting the urban scenes in Vienna from 2022. Below is an additional set of 22 images selected from a period of 35 days; the time interval represents only 10% of the year, but it appears to be a personally important “watershed moment” as well.

( Click here for images and more )

Die Ankunft der Fremden, Thomas Schütte, documenta, SinnLeffers, Kassel, Hesse, Hessen, Germany, Deutschland,

Fotoeins Friday in Kassel: the strangers

Thomas Schütte created “Die Ankunft der Fremden” (The arrival of strangers) for the ‘documenta 9’ art festival in 1992. On the top of the portico of the former Red Palace stand three figures surrounded by some sort of luggage and belongings. The figures appear worried and alienated, looking down at everyday activity in which they cannot take part. This sculpture provides an avenue for social and political commentary about the plight of refugees and migration around the world.

I made the photo above on 3 Oct 2017 with a Canon EOS6D mark1 and the following settings: 1/500-sec, f/8, ISO2000, and 88mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as

Das Fremdlinge und Flüchtlinge Monument, Olu Oguibe, documenta, Königsplatz, obelisk, Florentiner Platz, Kassel, Hesse, Hessen, Germany, Deutschland,

Fotoeins Friday in Kassel: monument to foreigners & refugees

Nigerian-American artist Olu Oguibe created the 16-metre high obelisk “Monument to Foreigners and Refugees” (Das Fremdlinge und Flüchtlinge Monument) for Kassel’s documenta 14 in 2017. On four sides is the inscription of a single sentence in Arabic, English, German, and Turkish, respectively:

.كنتُ غريبًا فآويتموني
I was a stranger and you took me in.
Ich war ein Fremdling und Ihr habt mich beherbergt.
Yabanciydim beni konuk ettiniz.

The line is directly from the Bible’s New Testament: the gospel of Matthew chapter 25 verse 35.

Initially placed at Königsplatz, the obelisk was dismantled after conservatives and the far-right complained about their comfort level with what little human capacity they had remaining. Fortunately, common sense prevailed: the city purchased the sculpture, and reinstallation took place in April 2019 at Treppenstrasse/Florentiner Platz (ArtNews | Frieze | HNA, Deutsch).

I made the photo above on 3 Oct 2017 with a Canon EOS6D mark1 and the following settings: 1/160-sec, f/16, ISO2000, 28mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as

Man Walking to the Sky, Jonathan Borofsky, documenta 9, Kassel Hauptbahnhof, documenta, Kassel, Hesse, Hessen, Germany, Deutschland,

Fotoeins Friday in Kassel: up into the sky

At the plaza in front of Kassel’s Hauptbahnhof train station is “Man Walking to the Sky” by Jonathan Borofsky. Originally constructed for “documenta 9” in 1992 and installed in front of Museum Fridericianum at Friedrichsplatz, the sculpture was moved to the front of the Hauptbahnhof in 1995. The sculpture consists of a steel rod or pipe 25 metres in height and inclined at an angle of over 60 degrees; the lonely figure is a painted piece of fibreglass. While the figure walks precariously up the steep slope, the sculpture is undeniably one of hope, of an attempt to reach a goal much higher than is deemed humanly possible.

I made the photo above on 4 Oct 2017 with a Canon EOS6D mark1 and the following settings: 1/800-sec, f/8, ISO2000, and 24mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as

Joseph Beuys, 7000. Eichen, 7000 Oak Trees, documenta, Friedrichsplatz, Staatstheater, Kassel, Hesse, Hessen, Germany, Deutschland,

Fotoeins Friday in Kassel: 7000 oak trees

Above/featured: next to the Staatstheater at Friedrichsplatz.

As an example of what he called “social sculpture”, German artist Joseph Beuys presented his “7000. Eichen” (7000 oak trees) project at the contemporary art exhibition “documenta 7” in Kassel in 1982. He declaredStadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung,” which is a play on German words and translates to “urban forestation, instead of urban administration.” He wanted to plant throughout the city 7000 new oak trees, each accompanied by a small pillar of basalt rock. With the trees representing the world and stones symbolizing civilization, Beuys expressed the idea that society could only exist or thrive by living in harmony with the natural world. The project initially encountered skepticism and hostility among the city’s citizens. But all 7000 were eventually planted and installed, effectively turning the entire city into a work of sculptural art and charging the city’s populace with the collective responsibility as the art’s caretakers.

Various exhibitions throughout Germany are marking Beuys’ 100th birthday (12 May) throughout the 2021 year.

Beuys’ artistic and historical legacy: 26-minutes in English, DW Arts.21, 8 May 2021.

Joseph Beuys, 7000. Eichen, 7000 Oak Trees, documenta, Friedrichsplatz, Kassel, Hesse, Hessen, Germany, Deutschland,

(“Onkel Beuys befiehlt Ihnen!”) Information display at Friedrichsplatz with, perhaps, an homage to the American WW2 poster “Uncle Sam wants you!”

I made the two photos above on 1 and 3 Oct 2017 with a Canon EOS6D mark1. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as

Sonnenblumen, Bienen, sunflowers, bees, Park Weinberg, Kassel, Hesse, Hessen, Germany,

Awake the Giant

Before visiting the Grimmwelt museum in Kassel, Germany, I spent some time in the neighbouring park on Weinberg hill. Among many flowers, various bees and insects were in orbit-, launch-, and landing manoeuvres. I watched a bee land, and there was a composition of yellow sunflowers with dark centres surrounded by green leaves and trees against a backlit clear blue sky.

A larger bumblebee landed on the same flower, and I expected a “bumblin’ tumblin’ battle royale.” But it went quick, as the bumblebee first nudged then pushed its smaller cousin off the yard. Presumably satisfied with its sip, the bumblebee flew off shortly thereafter. I waited a few more minutes, but neither bee returned.

Gathering pollen is tough work for a tough crowd. The real truth is the world needs bees to remain healthy, thrive, and flourish.

Sonnenblumen, Bienen, sunflowers, bees, Park Weinberg, Kassel, Hesse, Hessen, Germany,
Sonnenblumen, Bienen, sunflowers, bees, Park Weinberg, Kassel, Hesse, Hessen, Germany,

“Move aside, and let the bee go through …”

Sonnenblumen, Bienen, sunflowers, bees, Park Weinberg, Kassel, Hesse, Hessen, Germany,
Sonnenblumen, Bienen, sunflowers, bees, Park Weinberg, Kassel, Hesse, Hessen, Germany,

Sonnenblumen und Bienen

As I’m product of the 1980s, the post title is a nod to Lawrence Gowan’s “Awake the Giant” (1987). I made the photos above on 1 October 2017. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at as

IHolocaustdenkmal, Berlin, Germany,

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: observations from Germany

Primo Levi, Italian-Jewish author, chemist, and Auschwitz survivor, delivered a set of essays about life and survival in Nazi extermination camps in his 1986 book “The Drowned and the Saved”. Levi wrote:

… For us to speak with the young becomes even more difficult. We see it as a duty and, at the same time, as a risk: the risk of appearing anachronistic, of not being listened to. We must be listened to: above and beyond our personal experiences, we have collectively witnessed a fundamental, unexpected event, fundamental precisely because unexpected, not foreseen by anyone. It took place in the teeth of all forecasts; it happened in Europe; incredibly, it happened that an entire civilized people, just issued from the fervid cultural flowering of Weimar, followed a buffoon whose figure today inspires laughter, and yet Adolf Hitler was obeyed and his praises were sung right up to the catastrophe. It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say.

On 27 January 1945, Soviet Red Army troops liberated the Nazi concentration and extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in south-central Poland. Over 1 million men, women, and children were murdered.

The United Nations declared January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day; the designation came during the 42nd plenary session of the United Stations when resolution 60/7 was passed on 1 November 2005.

Accepting and openly stating responsibility are critical first steps, but spending time, money, and effort to ensure the simple motto of “never again” is also an ongoing reality that isn’t solely up to the citizens of Germany. It’s a collective responsibility that we all should have to remain vigilant; that we all have to recognize and bolster actions which encourage and strengthen the universality of human rights, and reject the erosion and withdrawal of those rights.

I believe responsible tourism also includes paying appropriate respect at a memorial, especially the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. It’s my view this important memorial is not (supposed to be) a playground.

And yet, there’s something to be said about what it means to have freedom in the early 21st-century, allowing people to laugh and frolic in the public space, an undulating sculpture of featureless massive grey cement blocks, a testimonial to the systematic murder of millions of people.

Naturally, you have the freedom to play here, take selfies, and have a grand time. But it doesn’t mean I’m gonna laugh with you; for example: Yolocaust art project (DW 2017).

( Click here for more )

Römerberg, Frankfurt am Main, Germany,

Fotoeins Friday: Heine’s warning about book burning (Frankfurt)

Most visitors to Frankfurt am Main will stop at the historic Römerberg square for pictures of the surrounding buildings with bank towers in the background. But a glance down onto the cobblestones near the Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen (Fountain of Justice) reveals a writer’s stern warning. In the tragedy “Almansor“, the German-Jewish writer Heinrich Heine warned readers about the dangers of burning books:

Das war ein Vorspiel nur. Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen.
– Heinrich Heine, “Almansor” (1820-1821)

Heine wrote how burning books is a dangerous omen: “where books are burned, people aren’t far behind.” A little over 100 years later, this prescient line played out as the Nazis took over and targeted in particular Jews. On 10 May 1933 in Frankfurt and in other cities across the country in plans orchestrated by the Propaganda Ministry, tens of thousands including university students loyal to the Nazis gathered to burn books by writers who were Jewish or who were deemed ‘unpatriotic’ or ‘un-German’ to the Nazi ideal. Books by Bertolt Brecht, Sigmund Freud, Heinrich Heine, Erich Kästner, and Heinrich Mann among others were thrown into the fire. The Gedenkplatte (or Gedenktafel) Bücherverbrennung is a memorial and modern reminder for constant vigilance against the dangerous reasons for book burning and the consequences beyond.

Gedenkplatte Bücherverbrennung, Römerberg, Frankfurt am Main, Germany,

Gedenkplatte Bücherverbrennung: memorial plaque to 1933 book burning

I made the photos above on 9 May 2015. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at as

Love locks, Eiserner Steg, Iron Footbridge, Main river, Frankfurt am Main, Germany,

Fotoeins Friday: Crown of locks on Frankfurt’s Eiserner Steg

The Eiserner Steg (Iron Footbridge, 1869) is a pedestrian-only bridge over the Main (word pronounced like “mine”) river in Frankfurt am Main which connects the city’s Römerberg and Old Town on the north flank with the Museum Embankment and Sachsenhausen on the south flank. My glance to the city’s “Main-hattan” skyline found clusters of love-locks hanging from the bridge structure. Whatever your opinions are about these love-locks, they make a great compositional feature.

Other love locks:

•   Cologne’s Hohenzollernbrücke
•   Heidelberg’s Alte Brücke (Old Bridge)

I made this photo above on 20 November 2014 with the Canon EOS6D, 24-105 L zoom-lens, and the following settings: 1/20s, f/4, ISO4000 and 24mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress on as

Meral's Imbiss, Mainufer, Frankfurt am Main, Germany,

My Frankfurt: taste of Istanbul on the Main

“This is like being in Istanbul,” my friend says, in between bites of his sandwich.

Ömer, his fiancée, and I are sitting on the south bank of the river Main in Frankfurt, Germany. We’re soaking the late-summer sun. The grassy meadows are full of people: some in animated conversation; some surrounded by a big spread of food, beer, and wine; others kicking the soccer ball back and forth with their children.

There’s a whole lot of happiness here, but there’s a long line of people, waiting to purchase food and drink at the boat parked by the riverbank.

We just left that very same line after waiting for an hour. What we’re eating now made the wait worthwhile.

Over the ten-plus years I’ve known Ömer, he’s never been wrong about food in Germany.

Meral's Imbiss, Mainufer, Frankfurt am Main, Germany,

Speisekarte | Food menu

Meral's Imbiss, Mainufer, Frankfurt am Main, Germany,

Hamsi (Sardellen) fried-fish sandwich, “Ominade”

We each have a fried-fish sandwich: lightly fried fish in thin crispy batter, crunchy lettuce, slices of juicy tomato, stuffed in fresh soft Turkish bread. There’s a choice of Sardellen (anchovies), Makrelen (mackerel), or Doradenfilet (gilthead seabream). Ominade, freshly-squeezed lemonade according to Oma’s (Grandmother’s) recipe, is the right amount of sweet-tart, providing cool refreshment for our afternoon snack.

“The guy, the family who runs that boat, they’ve got this right, and I’ve gotta admit this feels like we’re on the Bosporus.”

High praise from Ömer: born in Istanbul, raised in Köln, and who’s gone back to know Istanbul very well in adulthood.

We’re silent over the next few minutes, chewing slowly and contemplating Istanbul. I’m realizing the obvious. If the food is any indication, I’m missing out; I’ve not yet visited Istanbul.

But right now, I’m eyeing that long line: I want another fried-fish sandwich and lemonade. But I don’t want to move; this is summer-like weather on an early-autumn afternoon on the bank of the river Main.

If you’re visiting Frankfurt am Main, make your way to the Main river to the boat called Meral’s Imbissboot (Meral’s Snack Boat). Naturally, they serve Döner, but their fried fish is too good not to try. Subject to weather conditions, the boat is open for service every day from noon to 11pm, between March and October.

Public transport: nearest U-Bahn station Willy-Brandt-Platz or Schweizer Platz.

I made the photos above on 3 October (German Reunification Day) 2011. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at as

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