SAND No 1: Schwarzwaldklinik Bad Rippoldsau
Newspaper, 2021
ColdSet print, Halb-Rheinisches Format (250 X 350 mm), 40 pages, color, 52 g/qm, ISO 69, Edition:1000

The Schwarzwaldklinik is located in the traditional Baden spa town of Bad Rippoldsau-Schapbach, the highest mineral and moor spa in the Black Forest, not far from the famous Black Forest High Road. The clinic was opened in 1977 after two years of construction and operated as a rehabilitation and post-acute center for orthopedics and internal medicine. The complex has twelve floors of hillside construction with a floorspace of around 30,000 square meters, and the property is 7.5 hectares in size. The interplay between modern architecture and the surrounding landscape was awarded the BDA prize “Gute Bauten in Baden-Württemberg”.
For the first 10 years, the clinic operated successfully until a massive fire devastated the clinic in 1998. It took about 15 months to repair the damage. In 2007, the Schwarzwaldklinik had to file for insolvency for the first time, but was successfully bought by the clinic operator in charge. Since a renewed insolvency in 2011, the clinic has been closed and stands empty. To ensure that the building fabric was not damaged, the premises were continuously heated and monitored by an external security service. Various real estate portals offered the clinic complex for 5.5 million euros.
In November 2015, a group of investors from China bought the spa clinic. According to the reconstruction plans drawn up in 2016, a so-called medical spa resort with five stars would be developed here: the investor group wanted to invest around 65 million euros in the project, 15 luxurious suites and 150 rooms were to be created in the building complex. A partial opening was planned for 2018.
According to media reports, there were problems with the local infrastructure for a project of this size: the entire valley was not up to a sufficient standard in terms of media and supply technology to operate a hotel of international stature - and the construction company that was supposed to manage the remodeling withdrew from the project. Since 2017, the Chinese investor group has offered the property for sale again: due to “internal changes, the owner has rearranged its priorities”, according to the press release.
An illegal party on the clinic premises triggered a large-scale operation by the police and fire department at the end of 2020: to generate electricity for the party, the group had installed and started up a generator with an internal combustion engine in a room; a young man had to be taken to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning. 17 participants had to answer for various offenses such as vandalism, trespassing, violations of the Corona regulations as well as violations of the narcotics law. According to information from the Pforzheim police headquarters, the event was a so-called “Lost-Place-Party”, which are usually celebrated in empty factory buildings in urban areas.

"(...) Goldbach further presents the first edition of SAND, a self-published monothematic photo essay dedicated to the portrayal of single architectural structures. Reminiscent of free street newspapers, SAND deliberately opposes the glossy architecture photography known from real estate websites. The first edition of SAND is dedicated to the abandoned building of the Schwarzwaldklinik Bad Rippoldsau- Schapbach—a former rehabilitation centre from the 1970s that has become a (real estate) speculation object since its insolvency in 2011 and has been vacant since."
Text: Fanny Hauser, "BfF #1 - 1. Biennale für Freiburg ", 9/2021

"(…) Eine der fotografisch herausstechenden Positionen war jene von Niklas Goldbach. In einer stillgelegten öffentlichen Toilette an der Kaiserwache, einem einstigen Cruising Spot, installierte der Künstler eine digitale Slideshow, in der sämtliche seiner seit 2013 entstandenen Fotos mit 12 Bildern pro Sekunde als Referenz an sein Studioarchiv in einem mehrstündigen Loop gezeigt wurden. Dieser bannte die Betrachter*innen entweder in einem Sog des Verweilens oder rief aufgrund der Schnelligkeit der Bilder visuelle Adaptionschwierigkeiten hervor. Darüber hinaus setzte sich Goldbach in seiner Fotoinstallation Aufstellung: Freiburg (2021) mit den architektonischen Strukturen der Stadt wie dem Bunker unter dem Schlossberg auseinander, für die ein Zeitungsartikel über die Vertreibung von Obdachlosen als Ausgangspunkt diente. Auf verschiedenfarbigen Yoga- oder Gymnastikmatten platzierte er ein Foto in der Toilettenanlage und weitere im Kunstverein an Säulen lehnend. Zusätzlich gab er die Zeitung SAND heraus, die an Straßenzeitungen erinnert und sich dem verlassenen Gebäude der Schwarzwaldklinik Bad Rippoldsau widmete. (…)"
Aus: Camera Austria Nr. 156, Biennale für Freiburg: BfF #1 von Walter Seidl, 2021






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