Rosemary Williams / Saint Paul

/ 2008

My time at the Gropiusstadt apartment was marked by extreme solitude, countered by the intense experience of being surrounded by so many people. My stay coincided with the semifinal match between Germany and Turkey for the European Cup, and the intense passion leading up to and during the game was incredible to witness. At the same time, I could not communicate with anyone, I spent my days alone, looking out over the sea of units for modern living, walking the paths around Gropiusstadt seeing where they led.

One day contemplating my German phrase book, it occurred to me that I could send out messages, trying to communicate from my little unit to the others surrounding me. So I started cutting out messages in phoneticized German that I taped in the windows. At night I lit the rooms until I went to bed so that the writing could be seen more clearly. Each day a new message of greeting went up from the phrase book, my small attempt at making some kind of human connection as an outsider and a foreigner.

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