A warm autumn afternoon yesterday with Michael, come all the way from Madrid. A morning cleaning, and more warmth of sun in the café at the gates of Uferhallen; many people wandering about on the last day of a large exhibition. I read my way through Iain M. Banks’ latest at too fast a clip, and so decide instead to attend to the photographing of the former BVG workshops.
I’ve been meaning to do this for months, and have on occasion pointed my camera somewhere, though not in the thorough manner I have planned. The Uferhallen is vast; on the north of the street, three massive long, low buildings interspersed with other buildings of various ages, as though a geologic collision across several epochs left the different architectures crushed and entangled. The further back one wanders the more this is so, pointing to the loci of impact just this side of the fence at the far end of the site.
Cut north-west to south-east, perpendicular to Uferstraße, are three main thoroughfares. The most westerly being the former parking ground and turning circle for the busses’ overnight sojourn. The middle leading to smaller workspaces and twisting alleys, and the most easterly, once passing the cavernous entrances to the machine workshops, leads back to possibly the oldest part of the area.
Of course, then there is the southern side of the street, with its massive block of generator building and accompanying chimney, and two further banks of endless workshop space.
I’d been wanting to photograph here for some time; thinking of how over three-quarters of a year last year I observed the Bötzow Brauerei and wondering what I might find here. The light today was quite beautiful, utterly clear skies, warm sun sinking slowly lower towards the horizon; I wanted to have this as a memory before turning to the more obvious greys and muted tones of late autumn and winter.
I am still limiting myself to shooting 1:1 and both black and white and colour simultaneously. I’m not sure why I don’t allow myself to venture into other aspect ratios, but something of the constraint appeals, even though the obvious distortion from the wide-angle lens at times frustrates me. Not to mention feeling distinctly clumsy and often wielding the camera like a drunken bludgeon against the object of my attention.
Today I walked through perhaps a third of the area, and turned my camera to far less, not even venturing inside. I had an idea it would be nice to do this also, somehow explore the place, insinuate myself in by virtue of the lens, show a bit of this quite special place that exists in the north of Berlin. Perhaps to be my small project for the next short while.