Unten im Museum





Unten” (“below”) is the subject of Paleica’s latest photo challenge, and since I am a person who can’t even resist looking down while at a museum, here we go.

Since I experiment with low light conditions, I think that a note on the first picture may be in order: There are two very dark hues in this picture, with a rectangular shape to the right of the light strip: this part is minimally brighter than the rest of the picture (and it seems to become visible if you look at it long enough and/or in a dark room). I had been thinking about increasing the contrast, but then I was fascinated by this kind of minimalism and did not touch it.

The first two pictures show Städel Museum in Frankfurt; the last parts of art installations at Museum Wiesbaden, a small museum valiantly and successfully maintaining its own profile in the face of all the well-known museums in nearby cities like Frankfurt, Darmstadt, and Mainz. I recommend visiting.

Alla Veneziana (Decay)





Decay can look quite quite pretty in a romantic or decadent way when the dosage is moderate. A bit of laissez faire, a bit of savoir vivre; after all, enjoying life is more important than maintaining old houses. Buildings that have decayed to a degree we find charming may remind us of Luchino Visconti’s Morte a Venezia.


However, the famous Italian city might be more rotten than the pictures in our minds suggest, and there are buildings that are way beyond charming here in Wiesbaden. They literally fall apart (the glimpse through a hole in the tarpaulin hints at the whole). Some of them are protected as monuments or national heritage (“denkmalgeschützt”): They must not be knocked down, so the owners let them rot until they pose a security risk and demolition becomes inevitable.

To see more decay – and to read a great yet outrageous story about an ambitious hospital project – visit Paula’s Photo Challenge which inspired the idea that while we might like that bit of decay, more of it is not too good.