Christa (Allende Center), 2017
“While working on a photo project in the Allende Center in Berlin-Köpenick, an elderly woman accidentally falls into the search field of my camera and starts dancing. A communicative process develops between us: The non-place around the shopping center, along with its purely functional infrastructure – parking lots, garbage cans, stairs or ventilation shafts – becomes an abstract stage set for her spontaneous, playful outbursts, which I capture with the camera.”
Like most shopping centers, the Allende Center is designed purely functionally, it serves as a vending machine that is easy for everyone to understand and operate. It is not a place where you can stay indefinitely, not a space in which you can develop freely, even express yourself politically, that you can temporarily claim for yourself or that you can use, whether for playing, sleeping or even taking photos – it does not permit any critical observation.
On the one hand, Wolfram Hahn's photo series documents this deeply regulated context, the faceless architecture, the strictly functional details and the offensively propagated utility value, but at the same time counteracts it with the dancing Christa, who tries to appropriate the space subjectively and thus rejects its strictly one-dimensional function.