MG 7220 1t

St. Mary's Church, Sandersleben (Saxony-Anhalt), 2020

Stephanie Kiwitt

13 jun. 2024 • 1 min

‘. . . the late-Gothic St Mary’s Church in Sandersleben . . . was consecrated in 1519, just two years after Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses. After extensive renovation, part of it is still home to Sandersleben’s Protestant community. The building spans the historical period encountered throughout this region, the various stages of which continue to resonate today. Parts of the church predate the Reformation and the Peasants’ War; its tower, for instance, was initially a city tower before its subsequent role as a watchtower. The contemporary folding glass barrier inside the church is a nod to the future. Since 2013, this feature has enabled the church to host secular events, as it separates the choir from the nave. The significance of a structure or place is derived from its function. If it ceases to serve a purpose or meet a need, it loses its societal relevance. This lack of societal meaning becomes evident in its dilapidation and, ultimately, in its decay, removal or demolition. Lesser-known structures that haven’t been captured in photographs or documented can thus vanish completely, leaving no archaeological footprint, especially when replaced by new constructions. They leave no vestiges behind, not even a trace, which is usually an indicator of the presence of nothingness . . .’Jonathan Everts, 'A Long Farewell to the Present', in Stephanie Kiwitt, Flächenland (2020–22) (Leipzig: Spector Books, 2023).

This is part our of series on 'documents' in collaboration with Read the introduction here.

Stephanie Kiwitt (1972) is an artist based in Halle (Saale), Germany. Utilizing a large number of images, various perspectives, and also textual elements, she is known for her insightful photography that explores spaces emblematic of contemporary phenomena. Over the past three years, she has focused on evolving habitats in rural areas, photographing traces of transformation and conducting interviews in Saxony-Anhalt, the region she moved to in 2020. From 2018 to 2020, Kiwitt was a guest lecturer at the LUCA School of Arts in Brussels.

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