KRZYWY LAS: FANTASIEN DES VERLUSTES
a collaborative project between Sarah Ksieska and Niclas Riepshoff
Johanne space, Frankfurt am Main
One night in Hamburg, YouTube suggested a video: "A FOREST IN POLAND is filled with HAUnTING CROOKED TREES and NO ONE CAN EXPLAIN WHY".
On the 6th of November 2017, we borrowed a Skoda from Berlin Tempelhof and drove to this forest. The journey to Szczecin took one and a half hours and we arrived at an old jam factory where we spend the night. A young man with a nostalgic appearance welcomed us. He did not say a word about himself and acted in a hurry, joking with his face frozen. In a gloomy restaurant we ate savory-sweet food next to a window sill, full of smiling porcelain sheep. All around us were painted walls, one with an image of a red, trollish looking woman holding a cigarette. When we left the next morning, it was sunny and foggy at the same time and the car windows were misted. The "Crooked Forest" was marked in Maps, and we drove there. Coincidentally we noticed, that the road we took was as crooked as one of the trees we would be seeing. The forest, which was planted in 1934, lay in the district of Gryfino close to the coal power plant "Unteroder" and had belonged to Germany, before the Red Army occupied the place and it became Polish.
We parked the car at a parking lot next to a stand-alone block of flats and had lunch: white bread rolls, whole cucumbers, tasteless yellow cheese strings and long sausage whips. Then we took the path leading into the damp forest and after a short time, the grouping of crooked pines appeared, looking exactly as seen in the video - question marks turned upside down.
We could feel a human presence without understanding what could have happened here. The bark of the curves had softened to a smooth surface. Visitors must touch them frequently. A wet bench, a sign, and a wooden bucket full of empty beer bottles and energy drinks cans stood at the edge of this area. Strangely most of the curves were bending northwards. After we toured this place several times we traced the contours of four "north curves" and one "south curve" took photos and drove back.