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Photojournalist Captures the Sublime Beauty of German Buildings Being Destroyed

Photojournalist Meike Fischer fossilizes the dramatic changes in Frankfurt's skyline in her ongoing photo series 'Panta Rhei/Frankfurt.'

by Sami Emory
May 12 2015, 9:00pm

Images courtesy the artist

Some look at condemned buildings and see only disrepair and decay. German photojournalist Meike Fischer, on the other hand, sees a cultural tragedy—a lost chapter in her city's history. Her photoseries Panta Rhei/Frankfurt is an effort in visual conservation: started in 2009 in reaction to the European Central Bank's decision to relocate to the east end of Frankfurt, and anticipating the grave changes that would soon follow, Fischer intiated her own "photographic documentary" to chronicle the steady demise of some of the city's oldest establishments. 

Within a few years, Fischer was presented with an unanticipated continuation of her series when another development, inserting itself into the city's skyline, brought about a second phase of infrastructural destruction. Walking through her transitioning city, the photographer says she often felt like she was "wandering through ruins": "So, at a point, I started to take close-ups of the demolision to depict the rigidity and vehemence of the interventions," Fischer tells The Creators Project. "This was the point when the work started to be not only a documantary but also a poetic work."

She adds, "I use photography to record what I see and could not capture in adequate words or any other media than photography. To me it is particulary a tool to record changes in urban spaces and to show the beauty of abeyance. I really like the idea of photography as a medium to hold fractions of seconds, to document things and create a magical athmosphere at the same time." 

Below, see Fischer's snapshots of the strange beauty of Frankfurt's demolished buildings:

See more of Fischer's photography on her website

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