The beginnings of Phoenix-See (Lake Phoenix), a major urban development project, go back to the closure of the Hermannshütte steel complex in Dortmund-Hörde in 2001, after almost 160 years of operation. The planned construction of an artificial lake measuring 24 hectares including a marina and a new urban neighborhood offering a combination of apartments, services, and recreational areas was seen to initiate the long-awaited structural change and to provide an image boost for that part of the city.
In this book, the photographer Jutta Schmidt showcases a selection of the artistic images she has taken since the lake opened in spring 2011. Her photos capture ephemeral moments and everyday scenes that seem banal, yet they also reveal the underlying social reality of living close to a huge construction site for many years before and after the lake was completed.
Her snapshots testify to the contradictions inherent in this development, which combines luxury apartments and derelict old buildings, developed areas and brownfield sites, unsightly demolished structures and new architectural beginnings. More than anything, Jutta Schmidt’s photos capture what may be described as insignificant moments, away from the limelight, that nevertheless tell a story.
By documenting the many facets of this location with a certain sense of humor and a critical eye, she provides a striking counterpoint to the lake’s touristic appeal.