Friday, 11 March 2011

Lotte Land

During our 2010 visit to Sigmaringen, we also had the chance to spend an afternoon in the university town of Tubingen , some 30 miles to the north. It would have been a worthwhile trip anyway, as the fascinating "old town" survived World War II intact (thanks to the absence of heavy industry in the region), and our guide Prof. Schweizer led us through the narrow streets with talk of artists and scholars including Hegel, Schelling and Herman Hesse. But we were in Tubingen for a reason: it was the last place that silhouette film maker Lotte Reiniger called home, and the town has a museum dedicated to her life and work.

   And some museum it was. The exhibition was stunningly presented on walls that were designed like a labyrinth of "lightboxes", opaque blocks with bright white interior illumination. One room provided materials to create your own cut-out figures, to be projected and photographed for an ongoing video installation - so myself and Prof. Schweizer engaged in a battle of scissors, snipping silhouette caricature heads of each other. You can see our efforts in the top photo - my version of the professor somehow resembles Kurt Vonnegut; his own brutal blade was quite cutting.

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