MUNICH:THE ORPHANAGE OF LOST MEMORIES
Just when I was going to give up on the Stadtmuseum in Munich, we discovered an antique shop by the souvenirs section with a box full of old postcards, letter and pictures. I was immediately captivated and enormously inspired. So many stories, family pictures in black and white: Kids, parents with their children, four young sisters wearing the latest fashion, a man with a little girl in a park… And the post cards, some full of stories of their journeys, others just sending greetings… wow, History was never so alive! I wanted to purchase the whole box so I could stare at them in my own time, to imagine the lives behind it, but in a way I was afraid of interrupting the calm those images lived in now, probably like their owners. It made me uncomfortable to jump into someone’s past just by purchasing their image. Imagine one day someone could buy our pictures on facebook? “Purchase a happy moment of someone´s past for 50 cents”
"Where do they come from?" I asked the girl selling them.
"My boss goes everywhere looking for antique things. These comes from people that have died and their families don´t know what to do with it."
"Oh…" Then I felt something I never felt before in an antique shop.These places are like an orphanage for lost memories. Suddenly It didn’t feel so bad purchasing one of those intimate pictures that one day were valuable to someone. On the contrary, I thought it was a new way of bringing them to life and caring about them all over again, but i was too scared to buy one with people in it. My romantic and naive side made me put them back in the box thinking maybe one day someone looking for the traces of their past would end up here looking for those pictures. Instead I purchased three post cards from Rome (1963), Prague (1947) and Rothenburg. On our way back home I stared into the Roman "Spanish stairs" full of flowers,cars and old buildings. How different the picture is now when you go to Rome and how beautiful it was back then. I flip it and read the scribbles: Greetings from Karl and Helga (15.6.63) all over again!