German Indications

Photographs and text

Peter Marshall

photography and writing are necessarily fiction~creating enterprises
Any resemblances in this work to actual people places or events are simply resemblances

Christel: ©Peter Marshall 1985


THIS story began more than thirty five years ago with the words 'Dear Linda and 'Liebe Christel' as two schoolgirls, one in England, the other in Germany became pen-friends. (It also begins further into the mists of cultural history in a fairy-tale wood, and in many other places.) Later there two girls met, and after a while their husbands and children met also. It was this relationship which provided my opportunities to live and work in the home of a working-class German family in a small town in the north of Germany.

In German Indications I have combined black and white and colour photographs with a number of short pieces of text. Independently these pictures and writing chronicle - in deliberately different keys - my reactions to those things or happenings which seem to illuminate or indicate the gap between my (our) cultural assumptions and German realities. Although the pictures shown here were largely taken in Neümunster in 1985, both they and the work as a whole have grown out of my experiences over a number of years since 1972.

In 1985 I returned and photographed many scenes I had previously visited - and often photographed previously - though usually with different intentions and results. The black and white photographs were intended as a narrative structure, sequenced with a number of recurring motifs in terms of subjects, forms and associations. The texts both break this flow and comment on it, providing some clues relating to it, while the colour works serve largely to emphasize certain aspects.

This work was first shown (in reduced form) as a part of a Framework group exhibition in Reading, England in 1986.

German Indications

This work consists of 8 short pieces of text and approximately 30 photographs (some in b/w and some in colour- although these are currently only shown in b/w). The text can be read in any order by selecting from the list at the bottom of each page. Each story is accompanied by some of the pictures, although there is not necessarily any relation between the text and the pictures.

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All text and pictures on this site are copyright ©Peter Marshall, 1985, 1997