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Sabine Haubitz, Stefanie Zoche

Sabine Haubitz, Stefanie Zoche - Sinai Hotels

Sinai Hotels


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. 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, the german artist-duo 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. In their photographic series Sabine Haubitz and Stefanie 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 deep-blue 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.

Sabine Haubitz, *1959 in Nördlingen (Germany); †2014 am Piz Kesch, Switzerland.
Stefanie Zoche, *1965, in München (Germany); lives and works in Munich. Artistic Cooperation 1998-2014.

2006,Hardcover, dust jacket
25 × 30 cm,96 Pages
46 Colour images
Text: Stephan Berg, Ulrich Pohlmann, Michael Zinganel

Language: English, German

ISBN: 978-3-901756-64-1


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