The Lace Curtains of Berlin
The Lace Curtains of Berlin is the graphic, non-fiction part of the Twin Projects: Berlin. The fiction part is the novel The Games. There is a character in the novel called Rainer-Werner Sprengberg who photographs lace curtains. These are “his” curtains.
You can find lace curtains anywhere in Berlin. I chose to photograph them in the neighborhoods of Kreuzberg and Neuköln. It took me a whole summer to finish the project. I had to shoot on the weekends and I needed good weather.
You can photograph the lace curtains for only two to three hours in the early morning. Because once the sun gets to a certain height, the windows reflect light like mirrors. So you have to hit the road very early, at about 6 a.m., and keep walking, searching, and shooting. For this reason, I don’t know where and when each photograph was shot: there was no time for recordkeeping.
I shot more than 1,000 black-and-white pictures. Here I show only a fraction: 200 pictures. Shooting the pictures was the easy part. The challenge was choosing which curtains to show and in which order. After innumerable trials I decided to group them according to window type: form, number of divisions, etc.
I identified eight different “families” or “collections” of windows. I named them after streets in the Görlitzer Park area of the Kreuzberg neighborhood, an area I am very fond of. This doesn’t mean that all the lace curtains in a given collection were photographed in the street the collection is named after. As I said above, I can’t say where each picture was shot.
In memory of Rainer-Werner Sprengberg.