Marvin Systermans: Turmalinweg

Turmalin is a gemstone who‘s characteristic is it‘s trigonal crystal structure and diverse range of colors. If you are in Halle and you go to „Heide Süd“ you will soon realize that the Turmalinweg shows no relation to his eponym. You will find a paved street lined with lanterns, while there is no single house built yet. but it won’t take long. The Turmalinweg is part of a young settlement, growing fast without the opportunity to develop it‘s own history.

Streets with meaningless names are lined by faceless one-family houses, who‘s models you will find at the entrance to the settlement. Here you can realize your dream of a self-built but not self-conceived house. I stumbled across the settlement by accident, even though I have been interested in the peculiarities of german residential culture for quite some time.

When I saw the interchangeable facades of the buildings I remembered a quotation of Andreas Gursky I once read: „Reality is only representable by constructing it.“

In this quote I see – between others – the question of whether documentary photography is always sufficient to make a clear statement about the visible content of the image. My work is not an attempt to find an answer to this question, but was strongly influenced by it. I constructed a reality that represents my perception of the place and functions as an example for this particular peculiarity of german culture. No windows, no doors, no chimney, no indication that it is not just a massive concrete cube with a roof. Repellent to any stranger, and only warm from the inside.

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