Dresden Now

_DSC0932Residual Edifices, Lithograph over Monoprint, 62 x 88 cms, Unique, 2013.

In Dresden today, such is the level and skill of reconstruction that it can be difficult to tell apart the genuinely old and the reconstructed. Of late planners and architects have taken pains to differentiate and make apparent these differences, such as leaving old bricks uncleaned and using plain cement next to remaining fragments. This print looks at two structures/locations that have remained intact since their original construction despite considerable adversity.

The Blue Wonder ( Blaues Wunder) is the name for the Loschwitz Bridge a cantilever truss iron bridge which connects the districts of Blasewitz and Loschwitz.  Situated two kms down river from the Old Town, this masterpiece of 19th Century technology and much-loved symbol of the city was the only bridge left intact after the bombing.

The old Jewish cemetery with over a thousand graves enclosed by crumbling walls and ornate gates and now filled with lush vegetation, was created in 1751. Situated on Pulsnitzer Strasse it was at the time outside the city walls as there was significant discrimination against Jews. It was closed to burial in 1869, after the dedication of the New Jewish Cemetery in Johannstadt. This was preceded by many decades of struggle for emancipation

Dresden is a city with a vast culture of commemoration and remembrance, with a focus on the iconic structures of the city, (particularly the reconstructed Frauenkirche) and the crucial dates in its history.  These are not only the 13th and 14th February 1945 but also the 9th November 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful ‘liberation’ of East Germany. The citizens of Dresden continue a profound debate about their status and their role as oppressors /victims, often overlooking the powerful positive elements of continuity.