Andrea Grützner

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been drawn to one particular building in my grandparents’ village, Polenz, in Eastern Saxony. It’s an inn called “Erbgericht,” Erbse for short. A couple of years ago, I stumbled across this picture. Color film was rare in the GDR, so that’s why it caught my eye.

The inn still exists today. There’s now a pool table in this room, and the painting is tainted yellow from years and years of cigarette smoke. I just love everything about this picture. The gestures of my grandmother and her niece, holding each other’s hands. My uncle clad in blue and yellow, clutching the back of the chair and looking at his “uncle from the West.” And then there is my mother, glancing over her aunt and uncle’s shoulder at something we’ll never see. Assuming that my grandfather took this stunningly well composed picture, it’s all about family relations, composition, and playing roles, and that’s why the “Erbgericht” has been my muse until today. It relates to the now and to the past, because my cousin looks a lot like his father in this picture, and I have a similar profile like my mother, grandmother, and her twin sister.

Andrea was featured in Romka 10 in 2017.