Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters? (attributed to Confucius)
Imagine my delight when I received an email by Australian singer Anna Smyrk, asking if she could use one of the photos of my postchristmas series for the cover art of her single “January makes me sad” (2023). Given that the song includes a line about dead christmas trees lining the street, I was more than happy to comply.
Vom 11.11. bis 30.11.2023 zeigt Tim Reuscher im nachladen in der Sternstraße 17 die Gurkenkunst junger und jung gebliebener, lokaler und auswärtiger Kunstschaffender.
Neben meiner eigenen Teilnahme an der Ausstellung habe ich es mir wie immer nicht nehmen lassen, alle Werke zu dokumentieren. Die folgenden Fotos sind nach der Hängung der Werke in der Ausstellung sortiert, von links nach rechts (ungefähr).
Reflex #2 offers an approach to the Deutsch-Ostafrika-Gedächtnismal (German East Africa memorial) in Aumühle, Schleswig-Holstein. This issue explores the addition of colour to my usual monochrome photos, making full use of the multi-layered Riso printing process.
Reflex is back: In handy DIN A6 format, folded without staples or glue from a single side A3 risograph print, to yield six pages. This first issue contains three photos illustrating the technique of rephotography.
Contrasting with reflex’ former incarnation containing 36 photos (published quarterly), the reduced scope of the new form of six pages, allowing either the printing of three horizontal photos or six vertical ones, not only makes the publication more accessible to the viewer, it also makes printing much more economical. Perhaps most important, the brevity allows me to speedily pursue and publish photographic ideas, allowing for new explorations of form, content and approach, to be published in regular intervals.
Along with the new year, more and more Christmas trees are appearing on the streets of Hamburg. At first they make their entrance alone, being dropped here and there, but soon they form assemblies or piles on the sidewalk near street corners and intersections, huddling together as if to find strength in numbers to avoid the unavoidable pickup by the waste collection crew.
There is an ebb and flow to this seasons of postchristmas: The city’s cleansing department arranges to pick up the trees on two scheduled dates after the usual end of christian Christmas festivities on the 6th of January. Even before this, the first lone trees can already be seen as early as New Years Day, as if eager to get out of the houses and appartments. Their numbers peak around the appointed collection dates, after which the trees all but disappear from the streets. The best trees, however, appear later, sometimes much later.
Unable to rely on strength in numbers, and slyly displaying their former owner’s trangsgressive behaviour of missing the scheduled dates for pickup, these rare specimen of bone dry latecomers can appear as far removed from Christmas as Easter, contrasting with a surrounding changed by the coming of spring and the distance from the holiday season. These are the prized, clearest expressions of postchristmas, which require persistence and sheer luck to find.