STADTräume, Rainer Enke, 2020, Bildungsforum Potsdam

As if in defiance, the almost mindless „century step“ seems to stride through Potsdam’s centre. Only the epochal Nikolai Church seems to stand like a rock.
The subject of the exhibited photographic positions is the current emotional debate about urban development, which has taken place in the most diverse social epochs. How carefully do we treat old buildings and to what extent do architectural dreams justify their realisation? Potsdam is an example of this topic. Here I follow with interest the construction activities as well as the accompanying social discourse about Potsdam’s „new centre“. The reconstruction of the Garrison Church with its disastrous history, the demolition of the University of Applied Sciences and the resulting redesign of the Old Market Square according to historical models are examples of this kind of controversial debate. The architectural contrasts between different social systems could hardly be greater here in the smallest of spaces.
Using photographic means, I tried to depict the urban conflicts about the aesthetics of old and new architecture.
In addition to a digital camera, a simple camera obscura soon became a familiar tool for me. The long as well as the multiple exposures which are presented here were very much in line with my photographic ideas – but left little room for subsequent image processing. The surreal world of images shown in this exhibition was created in the field of tension of these architectural and social contradictions and will not be reproducible in this form in the future due to Potsdam’s urban development.
Newly emerging STADTräume… characterised by transformations and contradictions.