Haubitz + Zoche

Sabine Haubitz and Stefanie Zoche were a German atists’ duo. They began working together in 1998 and positioned themselves in international artistic practice with photographic works, videos and site-specific installations under the name Haubitz + Zoche. Sabine Haubitz passed away in March 2014, however, Stefanie Zoche will continue the work that bears the signature of the two artists in both their names. Sabine Haubitz (1959–2014) studied Fine Arts in Berlin and Munich, while Stefanie Zoche (*1965) studied in Perpignan, France, and London. Throughout their career, the artists’ duo realized photographic series and site specific installations investigating architecture and public space. Today we share their series Sinai Hotels.

Haubitz+Zoche_1_Admena_2003

Admena, 2003

Haubitz+Zoche_2_Coral_Beach_2003

Coral Beach, 2003

Sinai Hotels
Sinai, Egypt, 2001 – 2004

The Sinai Hotels series consists of photographs of hotel resorts in Sinai, Egypt. Through the perspective of several years, these hotel sites, planned as status bearers, have proven to be the ruins left by misinvestment in state-funded tourism projects. The sculptural shells point to one of the consequences of a tourist industry that encourages uncontrolled urban development of whole landscapes and, against the backdrop of current political developments, amounts to a socio-political fuse. In their promise of holiday idylls, the names of hotel chains, which the artists have adopted for their titles, jar with discrepancy against the abandoned concrete skeletons in the pictures.

Haubitz+Zoche_3_King_Sinefro_2003

King Sinefro, 2003

Haubitz+Zoche_4_Pharao_Resort_2003

Pharao Resort, 2003

Haubitz+Zoche_5_Sunestra_2003

Sunestra, 2003

Pharao Resort, Sultan’s Palace, Golden Tulipa, Tropicana Village… The names of these hotel resorts hold out in prospect already suggest an exotic promise of happiness of artificial paradises, which are neither owed to a historic nor to a geographic significance. Whatever holiday-maker might be going to visit these planned residences would surely enjoy a ghetto existence totally removed from the contingencies space and time.

Haubitz+Zoche_6_Taba_Heights_2003

Taba Heights Resort 1, 2003

Haubitz+Zoche_7_Taba Heights_2

Taba Heights Resort 2, 2003

Haubitz+Zoche_8_Magic_Life_Imperial

Magic Life Imperial, 2004

Battlements and watchtowers indicate the fortress character of “gated tourism.” Yet now, more than 15 years after the Sinai was made accessible for tourism, the concrete shells of numerous buildings rise up into the sky like grey skeletons. Between 2001 and 2004, Haubitz + Zoche photographed these hotel building projects on the Egyptian Sinai coast, some of which have been put permanently on ice. The reasons for these ghost-towns are many and varied, ranging from bad investments to subsidy scandals to the decline in tourism in Northern Sinai due to fear of terrorist attacks.

Haubitz+Zoche_9_Radamis_Land

Radamis Land 1, 2003

Haubitz+Zoche_10_Radamis_Land_2

Radamis Land 2, 2003

Haubitz+Zoche_11_Radamis_Korridor_2005

Radamis Korridor, 2005

In their photographic series Haubitz + Zoche succeed in atmospherically communicating the absurdity of these hybrid buildings, above and beyond the called-for photographic objectivity. The sharp contrast between the permanently deepblue sky, the stone desert and the architectural legacies underscores the sense of abandonment. The empty honeycomb buildings, the misplaced pagoda roofs, the monumental pseudo-medieval details stand out like sculptural relicts of a civilization lost in the barren landscape after a catastrophe. Should someone travel to the Sinai peninsula in a hundred years’ time, the remains of the ruins of these Potemkin holiday sites will stand out as memorials: Concrete signs of a completely indifferent aesthetic that was infected by the madness of globalization.

Haubitz+Zoche_12_Radamis_Lounge_2005

Radamis Lounge, 2005

Haubitz+Zoche_13_Seaview_Palace_2004

Seaview Palace, 2004

Haubitz+Zoche_14_Miramar_2004

Miramar, 2004

Haubitz+Zoche_15_Sultans Palace_2004

Sultans Palace, 2004

© Haubitz + Zoche/ VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014
courtesy Nusser & Baumgart, Munich

To view more of Haubitz + Zoche’s work, please visit their website.



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