Gisela Weimann

 

 

Erinnerungen / Memories under

                                                       My Shadow Remains

In Adalbert von Chamisso’s romantic novel the main character Peter Schlemihl sells his shadow to the devil for a wonderful lucky bag that was spitting out ducats, however, he loses his identity in the deal and changes into a disturbing, shadowless stranger who must shun the light and only dares to move among men in moonless nights. When the Devil finally demands his soul of him in return for the material happiness, he throws away the lucky bag and exchanges his last possessions for a pair of walking shoes. These turn out to be seven-miles boots that drive him restlessly from one place to the other in search for the recovery of his shadow. I have renounced the possession of a ducat spitting lucky bag and have kept my shadow. Inner homelessness, however, and finding my place in the world are also determining factors in my life that began in a period of German history characterized by destruction, displacement and loss of identity. My seven-miles boots are aircraft and rapid bus and rail links. I travel with my shadow, capture it with light in my camera, keep its image on the hard drive of my computer and connect it indelibly with the places I have visited and the people with whom I have shared my life. My shadow remains as evidence of my having been (there) and as a projection of my inner self.
© Gisela Weimann, Berlin 2011