HANS GINDLESBERGER // Partial Architectures

Partial Architectures

Partial Architectures began with a roll of film shot by my grandfather when he was stationed as an American serviceman in Germany during World War II. The film, undeveloped, returned home with him and sat untouched for nearly seventy years until it was found and developed shortly before his passing. However, the processed reel returned only a dense blackness, evidence of its exposure to light and time.

Soon after his death, I traveled to Germany to retrace my grandfather’s movements through the country and photograph the contemporary landscape. While passing through the places he too had once witnessed, I carried a small collection of other photographs he took that depicted the ruins of cities and towns leveled by bombings. These photographs served as direct visual references for a series of architectural diagrams that extrapolated from the ruins depicted and imagined the portions of buildings that had been destroyed. The resulting drawings were then laser-etched into the original strip of negatives, thus creating a photographic object that conflates history and experience across geography and generations.

Furthering the material dialogue between my grandfather’s archive and my own journey, the negatives were printed as architectural blueprints and the forms were three-dimensionally modeled, photographed, and then composited into my own images of the German landscape. They appear as uncanny vestiges suggestive of monuments, architectures, or unknowable aberrations in the landscape. The strained attempt to re-embody my grandfather’s act of witnessing brings these partial and speculative architectures into dialogue with themes of familial loss, generational memory, and the German impulse to remember its national history and trauma.