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.
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.
Postchristmas again: Mit der Vorweihnachtszeit näherte sich wie immer bereits viel zu früh die Jahresspitze im Weihnachtsbaumverbrauch. Einen kleinen Ausblick auf die Zeit danach (der Vorjahre), und hoffentlich ein kleines Augenzwinkern bot meine Fotoausstellung postchristmas again, die zwischen dem 03.12.2022 und dem 12.01.2023 bei Tim Reuscher im nachladen gezeigt wurde.
15 Fotos von Weihnachtsbäumen nach dem Fest (Riso-Drucke) und 4 Texte von meinem Bruder Frank wurden in der Ausstellung gezeigt, und sind in Form einer kleinen Zine-Akte dokumentiert, die im nachladen verkauft wird.
Postchristmas again war die zweite Ausstellung zu diesem Thema, die erste fand im Dezember 2019 statt.
Exhibition shown at the nachladen (Sternstraße 17), December 7th, 2019 to January 4th, 2020.
On display were 12 b&w risograph prints of Christmas trees after Christmas. At the exhibition’s opening around six o’clock, my brother Frank read from a text he wrote for the catalogue accompanying our exhibition.