god's houses - in the engine rooms of faith
the longing of the churches for the people seems greater today than that of the people for the churches. the times when they offered an almost alternative-free refuge - in their protective building, their assurance-giving faith - are gone. today, most churches in this country are mostly lonely: the number of parishioners has almost halved since 1960, when almost everyone still belonged, and continues to fall.
for centuries, houses of worship were not only the only places of culture beyond agriculture, but also hoards of masterpieces of all arts and crafts that the respective communities could afford or pay for. over the centuries, they sometimes fall victim to indifference, even hostility, experience economic hardship and alienation from their community, sometimes even religious and other wars, but sooner or later they usually find new appreciation. in saxony-anhalt alone - my new homeland as well as that of my maternal ancestors and that of the reformation - more than 1800 existing church buildings still bear witness to this, albeit in very different states of repair. in the whole of germany there are even more than 44000.
the subject of these photographic explorations on my own behalf are not art treasures and architectural jewels, but the reflection of everyday parish life in churches under increasingly difficult conditions. i show church interiors as images of meaning for the eternal building site of life, beyond denominational boundaries, beyond the question of faith in general. i contrast structural concepts and liturgical prescriptions with earthly and human possibilities and limitations. provisional arrangements and improvisations in particular show: there is life here - despite everything and still! in my eyes, this is precisely what makes god's houses beautiful.
in 2021, the project began with travels through saxony-anhalt.
in 2022 I then searched all the federal states for motifs for my theme.
offers for exhibition and publication welcome!