Hilde Pank: HAUS+HÄNDE

Hilde Pank (Germany): HAUS+HÄNDE


Essay will play automatically, hover over image for additional options

This is an extract from my Photobook Haus + Hände (house + hands) which is my Master thesis. I portrayed the house of my grandparents, in which our family has lived since 1890. Back then my great-great-great-grandfather bought the house to build his photo-studio. I combined photographs from our family photo archive and my own pictures of the house and its surroundings, as well as portraits from my grandmother, my mother and myself. The house was always given to a daughter. I was pregnant with my daughter while making the series. That is why I decided to focus on the women of my family. In this extract I concentrate especially on my grandmother Ingrid, who lives in the house with her husband. She will probably be the last owner of the house, because nobody wants to move back there.

In my series I try to show the almost never changing atmosphere of the house and the village. Generations have lived there – World War I and World War II changed their lives. Then the village in the middle of Germany became a village at the border and a central train station to the West. To visit my family in their village, people needed special permission because of the border. After 1989 the village once again was part of central Germany. Nowadays my grandparents are connected to people from the former West living in a neighbor village. These days they are singing together in the same choir.