The decay can be smelled on the hectic street next door, it can be seen while looking at the exterior facade. And from time to time you can see people standing on the huge roof terrace, some trying to hide from the curious eyes of the people among them, some posing like a legendary musician. Chairs fall from the tenth floor, students leave the building with heavy trash sacks, and a small organization takes care of the overwhelming army of pigeons, which makes their way through the open windows into the hallways only to die miserably.
In 1966, in the golden age of the GDR, the 14-storey skyscraper on Pirnaischen Platz in Dresden was built. Because of the red slogan: Socialism wins, the building’s propagandistic significance lasted for more than two decades. In high contrast was the reluctance and rejection of the citizens of Dresden, who were both politically and aesthetically rebelling against this building, which had to be decorated in exemplary manner with flags during the official GDR holidays.
The flat tract contained 120 one-and-a-half and 60 one-room flats, which through their low rent of 260€ and the central position in Dresden, motivated their residents regardless of the continuing need for redevelopment to stay in. When on May 25, 2017 a fire erupted in one of the apartments, the serious deficiencies of the fire protection laws became again noticed by the responsible persons, which is why all residents were forced to leave their apartments at the end of February 2018. Lovingly called the Assi-Skyscraper by the citizens of Dresden, it now stands empty. It is forbidden to utilize the building.
As soon as anyone enters the building, they notice that something is completely wrong here. Typewriters are piled up in the corner, lonely lamps meet you on your way through the hallway. Here is a toothbrush, there an old coat. Homeless people living in old beds, young people with basketball sticks greeting friendly. Womens with frying pans walk around collecting pigeon eggs, while photographers focus on the view from the rooftop terrace. There’s a new movement going on inside this morbid building, which continues the deterioration of the building. To the classical graffiti: Clean the windowsill before consuming Crystel Meth, from day to day more of his kind are joining. Vandalism begins to perpetuate itself in the destroyed walls of the closets, their contents spread all over the floor. And so it happens that a GDR cookbook layes aside an old Playboy magazine and a smoked joint appears in a collecting cup on the kitchen shelf as if he had always been there.
The corridor slowly disintegrates because of the missing care, but the thousands of postcards and letters tell the story about the lives of the tenants before they moved out, almost as if they had no knowledge about being forgotten or abandoned. Photographs of Christmas celebrations, christenings and vacation trips can be found in colourful photo albums, as well as death certificates and notice of performance. Radiographs adorn the floor, tablets lying scattered on the seating set, while in the fridge unrecognizable food forfeits their existence. Candleholders, delicate porcelain bowls and Chinese vases pile up in the cupboard wall, but the vinyl records and video cassettes will probably never please their owners again, because they have left them behind and forgotten them. After all, it’s so much easier to just run into the supermarket around the corner and give the seller a list. I’d love to have it all, preferably by tomorrow.
Is that all right?