10 February, 2016

20th Century – Autobahn

Photos: This chapter contains in total 13 photos in which you look at the landscape as seen from the Autobahn, here I show 7 of them.

The Twentieth Century
I’ve traveled along German Autobahn-routes for this chapter. The conception of these highways started in the beginning of the 1920’s, with the idea of the HaFraBa line, which would connect the Hanze-cities, Lübeck and Hamburg, through Frankfurt with Basel. While in the Medieval period, people were looking for a centre point, a centrifugal spatial-experience comes into being by driving on the highway. A symbol of a society that in its essence has become centrifugal. The route just connects two points, from one city to the next; the in between space becomes an obstacle that needs to be bridged. In Milan Kundera’s novel Immmortality he phrases this experience perfectly, in contrast with our experiences of pathways. The specific page will also be the starting image of this part of the publication.

Small-scale vistas, which you see along the highway, are not made to create a lasting visual memory. They are impressions that are being forced upon you while driving, they stack upon each other as layers, and degenerate into converged images. These impressions I try to grasp; the landscape which is visible and invisible at the same time, and by the barrier of the road on which you drive, and the window screen of the car, is degenerated into an unapproachable and intangible landscape.

Just like the landscape which has been cut through by the highway is unapproachable from that road, this is also the other way around. The highway is from that same landscape unapproachable. Protected by its crash barriers and the place in the landscape; it is an intersection where the landscape ceases to exist. This ambivalence of the unapproachability of the landscape I try to grasp in these photos.

For more information on the visual approach, take a look at the artist statement here