Map of the Worlds
Temporary Housing (for Refugees in Germany)
photo album pages, linen bookbinding tape
30 x 17 x 17cm, each of three
Edition 1 of 5
I proposed to spend a number of months in Weimar after having read about refugees who were housed at the site of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. As a news story it was scandalous, but it was nearly unremarkable within the absurd chronology of our world. Despite the rather inexact geography (the ‘barracks’, it turned out, were closer to Dortmund), I did spend four months in Weimar. There, memory and forgetting wove around concrete plinths beneath monuments that populate the public squares, and through visits to the packed Foreigners’ Office, whose windows look out onto the hills of the immense Buchenwald Memorial.
While the idea of ‘housing’ functions as a practice of originating interiors, the reality of planetary migration enters from without, from outside what is known or remembered. Dominant narrative, the archive’s uniform container, and the arrival of foreignness: through such characterisations I made use of an empty photo album from a Weimar flea market. Pages — with empty ‘windows’ where photos had once been — are detached from their binding to construct temporary living quarters (in miniature) for ‘racialized’ foreigners in Weimar (Syrians, Afghans, Kurds, Iraqis, to name a few) — with windows open onto their precarious, international interiors.
[original photo album binding]