god's houses - in the engine rooms of faith
the longing of the churches for the people seems to be greater today than the longing of the people for the churches. the times when they offered almost no alternatives as a refuge - in their protective building, their assurance-giving faith - have passed. today, most churches in germany are mostly lonely: the number of parishioners has almost halved since 1960, when almost everyone still belonged to them, and continues to fall.
over the centuries, church buildings have sometimes fallen victim to indifference, even hostility, experienced economic hardship and alienation from their congregation, sometimes even religious and other wars, but sooner or later they usually find new appreciation. even today, in saxony-anhalt alone - my new home as well as that of my maternal ancestors and that of the reformation - more than 1800 existing church buildings bear witness to this, even if they are in very different conditions. in germany as a whole, 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 life in churches under increasingly difficult conditions. i show church interiors as images of meaning for the eternal construction site of life, beyond denominational boundaries, beyond the question of faith at all. i contrast structural concepts and liturgical regulations with earthly and human possibilities and limits. it is precisely provisional and improvised structures that show: there is life here - in spite of everything and still! in my eyes, that is what makes god's houses picture-perfect. 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. for me, however, it is about the human in god's often deserted houses.
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!