In 1988, the Saarbrücken-based photographer and artist Roland Wirtz left his studio in downtown Saarbrücken to live and work in Berlin from then on. I first met him in 2013 as a friend of my mother’s. I remember nightly conversations about artistic creation in our living room. Roland talked about his photographic projects, his endeavor to photograph places that are about to make their transition from existence to non-existence. His work left me with a sense of mystery.
When I founded a shared studio in downtown Saarbrücken together with four artist friends in 2018, I wasn’t aware that the space was Roland Wirtz’s former studio. After we moved in, I discovered his name tag in the display of our mailbox, which at this time had been in there for exactly 30 years (1988-2018). I took the name tag from the display and framed it in a cardboard box, the material and shape of which are reminiscent of the photographer’s large self-made cameras. I traveled to Berlin and handed the object to Roland. On the occasion of a retrospective exhibition by Roland Wirtz, the object will be exhibited this year as a key biographical object that links his early photographic and later artistic activities.