garage court guards
BMI/Fotoarchiv der KZ-Gedenkst├Ątte Mauthausen

In his trial station in the garage court Daniel Tscholl is aiming to explore the inderdependencies between guards and prisoners. The source material he uses to frame it, shows two different photos shot in this very place.

The first one is showing a SS ceremony during which the camps commander was decorating a group of SS-guards. If a guard decided to stay in the camp for several years - and his performance was considered commendable - he was awarded in this manner. The tasks Daniel Tscholl suggests concerning the photograph are:

1. Where was the picture taken? Where could the fotographer have been standing?

2. What do you think did this ceremony mean for the different participants (the commander, the awarded, the others)? How do you think they felt in this moment?

3. How do you think they saw themselves? What was their self-image?

garage court prisonersBMI/Fotoarchiv der KZ-Gedenkst├Ątte Mauthausen

The second picture is framed by the following informations: "The prisoners in the camp could be tortured or murdered at any time, they had literally no influence over their own lives. Their living conditions were created in a way that, due to lack of toilets, food or clean drinking water, sickness rather than health became their normal physical condition.
The SS, terrified that epidemics might spread beyond the camp walls, descided to chemically delouse them in the court yard - in order to protect themselves. There was no concern for the health let alone dignity of the prisoners.

The group's tasks for the second photograph are:

1. Where was the picture taken? Where could the fotographer have been standing?

2. What is the SS-fotographers perspective? How do the people lookfrom there?

3. How do you think these people saw themselves? What was their self-image?

 

After some minutes of dealing with the tasks the workshop participants came back to discuss the station and the material used. Paul Salmons was especially focusing on the perspective of the photographer, who could have been potentially the same (guard):

 

 

Going on with the analyses of perspectives, Paul Salmons deepens the issue by comparing the focus on the camp commander in the first photo ...

 

 

... with the wide shot of the prisoners in the second.

 

 

Reacting to this, Daniel Tscholl is arguing that the obstacles in engaging with the prisoners, which may surface in guided tours, might be related to the fact who enpictured them:

 

 

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