Das Becherhaus in Mudersbach
Schirmer & Mosel Verlag, München
first edition , 2022 , German Text
Cloth, Hardcover, 112 pages
Format: 23.6 x 26.3 x 1,9 cm
Mudersbach, the place that was Bernd Becher's second home when he was young, has interested me for a long time. He was connected to his grandparents' house throughout his life. I wanted to get to know the half-timbered house, in which nothing was allowed to be changed, and hoped that it would coincide with my interest in biographical stories. The opportunity to spend a long period of time undisturbed in a fully furnished but unused house is a rare opportunity. What were the living conditions like, house and place in the manageable Siegerland, from which Bernd and Hilla Becher wrote their first work on the Half-timbered houses began in order to then travel to Europe and North America? The house brings together family history, memorabilia from grandparents, decorative paintings from father Josef, the somewhat foreign upper-middle-class furniture from Hilla's mother from Potsdam and the religiosity of Bernd Becher's unmarried aunts, which characterizes the house . Berta worked as a Red Cross nurse, Maria was a seamstress and had boarder as additional income. Bernd Becher had a particularly close relationship with his two aunts; they supported him and later also Hilla, despite their limited resources. He loved the atmosphere in the small town, he painted and drew there as a young man. It seems to have been a kind of escape point for him, as the relationship with his father, who had imagined a different life path for his son, was difficult. He wanted his eldest son to take over his father's painting business.The house, which had hardly been lived in for years, sent me on a journey through time between curiosity and melancholy.
Hanns-Josef Ortheil, born in 1951, is one of the most important contemporary German authors. He spent his childhood in the Westerwald, just a few kilometers from the Becherhaus in Mudersbach and writes in art-literary texts such as „August Sander, the Westerwald, its inhabitants and I“ at the interface of memory and photography.
Laurenz Berges, born in 1966, is a former Master student of Bernd Becher. In his photographic work he explores the simple beauty of dilapidated places in poetic and at the same time strictly documentary images. His photo books Etzweiler, Photographs 1991-1995 and Frühauf Nach have already been published by Schirmer/Mosel.