Eisenhüttenstadt 21 October 2009
If I would be a serious deltiologist (i.e. someone who collects postcards) the topic of urban renewal would be one of my favorites. Cards are as rare as exciting as they record a development which is very momentary and dynamic. Yesterday I found this piece in a small stationary shop here in Eisenhüttenstadt. It cynically contrasts the demolition of the local “VII Wohncomplex”, built in the 1980s, with the famous preunificaion promise of the then chancellor Helmut Kohl who prospected “Blühende Landschaften” (flourishing landscapes) to come for East Germany after the reunification.
This series presents postcards from places that used to belong to East German territory, and which 20 years ago shifted from the socialist East block to the Western market economy. The author, Ben Kaden, currently lives in two cities: Berlin (East) and Mannheim (West). He is originally from Eisenhüttenstadt, a city once designed to be the jewel of GDR’s socialist planning – but today rather worn out and partly in decline. Using the postcard as a medium, this series crosses the gap between the pre-1989 and the post-1989 conditions, and joggles a physical medium of the past with today’s digitality.