Trains

Ury & Rohmann 2008
www.glitterbug.de
Video installation loop 21 minutes 10 seconds (repeated)
Video with titles 23 minutes 30 seconds
Betakam SP, colour, 2007 (D)
Video trailer 7 minutes

Trains, Tanya Ury’s DVD presents postcards of trains in new and old Europe - 80 scanned images accompanied by a digital and electronic music score “10 Seconds” by Till Rohmann, AKA Glitterbug.

 

 

Incorporated are photos of French, Hungarian, Austrian and chiefly German trains - the model, origin and where these transporters of people and freight were photographed are listed under each representation. These are colour pictures of the S-Bahn (city and suburban railway) and Kreisbahn (city circular rail), newer trains followed by older, steam engines and finally a few old black and white images, all presented in pretty landscapes.

In 2003 the Deutsche Bahn (German Railway) produced a DVD “Faszination Dampflok” (Fascination of the Steam Locomotive):

“The Steam Engine, a world of nostalgia and romanticism.”

It is only at the end of the documentary that the history of the former Deutsche Reichsbahn (German National Railway) under National Socialism is referred to at all, referring to its endeavour to examine the railway’s cooperation with the Nazi regime by way of the Nuremberg railway museum; the terrible nature of its involvement in the Holocaust has however always until now, remained shielded from the eyes and awareness of the regular traveller in German stations and on train platforms. The exact role of the German railway that transported millions of people across Europe, under inhuman conditions in cattle wagons, to a certain death in concentration camps is not mentioned in the Deutsche Bahn film.

Visually, in the pleasant picture-postcard-land of Ury’s and Rohmann’s Trains, city environments contrast with countryside scenes under winter snow or balmy spring conditions. A less attractive perspective is indicated by the titles at the end of the video of press citations that convey a darker historical reality.

Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) presents an exhibition in railway stations of the Reichsbahn’s (National Railway’s) role during the Holocaust

1st December 2006

“The long-standing criticism of Deutsche Bahn’s (German Rail) negative response has finally shown results. On 1.12.2006, Deutsche Bahn’s manager Mehdorn, together with transport minister Tiefensee declared that the Railway will present an exhibition on the subject of deportation in their stations. Elements of the exhibition ‚11.000 jüdische Kinder. Mit der Reichsbahn in den Tod’: ‚11,000 Jewish children. With the Reichsbahn (State Railway) to their Deaths’ by Beate Klasfeld will be included. The exhibition will open in Berlin on the 27th of January 2008, the memorial for victims of the NS regime.

I am delighted that the engagement of the German-Israeli Parliamentary Group has also led to this decision. In a conversation with Railway Director Mehdorn on 29.11.2006, whom I invited in my capacity of Chairman of the Parliamentary Group, we also came to a cross party decision, to present the exhibition at German stations in such a way that a wider public will be reached.”

Alliance of the Greens press statement. http://www.jerzymontag.de/
(Translation from German TU)

Till Rohmann has composed a score: “10 Seconds”, for this project collaboration with Tanya Ury.

Tanya Ury.

Till Rohmann, aka glitterbug, is an artist, musician, curator, producer and DJ working and living in the twilight zones between club culture, art, and politics. He is the curator and director of the 'c.sides festival' Israel / Germany as well as one half of the 'Macabug' artist duo, both together with the Israeli photographer and video artist Ronni Shendar.


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Video still from <i>Trains</i>

Video trailer 7 minutes