September 8th, 2014, 3pm

Of course you can see that giant Swedish shopping mall in the middle of seemingly pristine nature as something which doesn’t belong there. It’s not necessarily beautiful as a whole, it’s a place where the banal, the mediocre reigns supreme. People there tend to be slightly more overweight than you, just as their yellow shopping bags are a little more overweight than yours. But if you see all of that as just an abomination you happen to be a part of, you’re missing out.

Wherever people are, strangeness ensues. The kinder side of strangeness is magic, the downside is often called hell. Magic and hell can coexist just fine. Admittedly it was easy for me, as a foreigner, to see magic in that fastfood stall besides said shopping mall. For instance they offered food there I’d never tasted so far. The cool, rainy weather made us the only customers, and banal places are oftentimes transformed into magic (or hellish) ones via solitude. Because the absence of people in places where they are supposed to be creates even more strangeness than their presence.

As for mankind being estranged from nature, I more and more think that’s an optical delusion as well. Lately I long for being able to photograph “unnatural” things like shopping malls, garbage and other cultural and technical artifacts like they were products of nature, like they belonged right where they are. I admit I don’t know yet how to do it.

We are part of a nature which ceased to be pure when we became people.

David Wade, Adrian, Christine and Steve said thanks.

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Marcus Hammerschmitt

Writer, journalist and photographer. Eighteen books so far, on paper and on screen. My biography is boring, my life is not.

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