Sonja Mehner

Ways of Dwelling – crisis, craft, creativity

When I heard about the congress-topic, I thought immediately of the fundamental human need of safety. My pictures relate to one of its central messages „… wars and natural disasters make people move, in search of temporary protection…“ I pursued this primordial need for shelter and protection in my pictures.


„ Im Schutze der Dunkelheit “ 60 x 80 cm, Am Weissen Steine Kreuzung, Göttingen, 2016, Foto gerahmt

Under the Cover of Darkness. With this photograph I demonstrate how vulnerable we are without clothes and a house. I show a naked person sitting at an intersection, who forms a roof over her head with her arms. The persons sits there „under the cover of darkness“. I think about the body as the house oft he soul and the spirit. In the first instance, they want to feel comfortable in their first skin, in their own body. Nudity is often concealed. For me, that is where the topic starts.


„Kleidung die erste Form der Behausung“ 60 x 80 cm, Stadtwald Göttingen, 2016, Foto gerahmt

Clothing, the first form of dwelling. We a person wrapped in a blanket. „Clothing, the first form of dwelling or the second skin“. There is a homeless man in Göttingen, who you can see at street corner every now and then or under trees most of the time, sitting there, wrapped in a blanket. Many fear him, how he sits there, unwashed, with greasy hair and mumbling incomprehensible sentences to himself. Most Göttingers know him. He sits outside at any season and at any weather. The image of this man popped up in my head. … The street and the blanket, his home… ?!


„Im Schutz von Haus und Feuer “ 60 x 80 cm, Am Kehr Göttingen, 2016, Foto gerahmt

Inside the shelter of house and fire . On the third photo, we can see the human with a house and fire. A house and fire mean warmth, safety and protection from wild animals. The house is a stone house (Steinhaus) , that is something special, the human is loaded (steinreich).