M. is sitting with her boyfriend C. in the train to Chemnitz. Opposite them is a young man, S., from an Arab country with whom they start a conversation. They ask him carefully: "How is it like?". He finds it terrible and wants to leave, but has to stay there for two more years before he is allowed to change his place. He asks C., "Are you Arab?" C. is half-Colombian and goes to Chemnitz for the first time. He is suspicious of the East and therefore likes to avoid it. "Dye your hair anyway," replies S. It fits.
Chemnitz Modern City
"The money is earned in Chemnitz, increased in Leipzig and spent in Dresden," is an old saying from the heyday of a city that is constantly aging today: In comparison to other cities in Germany, the average age of Chemnitz residents is the highest. At the same time, the proportion of people under 15 years of age has fallen to ten percent, which is also a superlative: Ergo the lowest value of any major German city. Nationwide, headlines about right-wingers and neo-Nazis dominate the image of the city.
Annemie Martin, who lives in Berlin, photographs Chemnitz. Her pictures are sketches of her approach to a foreign city. Emptiness and decay become spaces of possibilities - also and perhaps especially for the few young people. An evergreen plant in the snow, a bust of Karl Marx on corrugated iron, a lonely illuminated billboard without a banner: Martin's works draw a melancholic, almost romantic atmosphere of dreariness. They are not a description of a place, no working off of stereotypes of the East, no sober document. They are fictional, but true.