Strandgut has always fascinated people. Part of this is because beach dwellers and walkers never know what to expect. And that when something fails on the beach, they can often be quite astonished. Like the Berliner, who recently opened an exhibition on waste at the Stockholm Museum for Contemporary Photography …
Strandgut has always fascinated people. Part of this is because beach dwellers and walkers never know what to expect. And that when something fails on the beach, they can often be quite astonished. Like the Berliner, who visited an exhibition on the rubbish of the seas at the Stockholm Museum for Contemporary Photography some time ago and discovered a music tape that had washed up in Lanzarote. The Maxell-branded piece in a display case showed visible traces of activity in the salt water. The small metal screws that held the plastic halves of the sound mount, particularly popular in the 1970s and 1980s, were rusted. Nevertheless, it apparently had not lost its functionality, because in the showcase there was also a note with the playlist of music tracks that had already been recorded. A technician had indeed restarted the cassette. Each side contained ten songs, starting with “Somebody Dance With Me” by DJ Bobo and ending on the B side with “Mr. Vain” by Culture Beat. Based on the full track list, Berliner Stella Wedell, who went on vacation to Mallorca with her parents at the age of twelve in 1994, acknowledged the mixtape she lost on the beach at the era. As a teenager, she had copied songs from the CD “Best of 93” on tape for her Walkman especially for her vacation.
Such stories are only one piece of the puzzle in a large mosaic of incredible shipwreck stories. The most legendary wreck is of course the message in the bottle. One of the most spectacular reports of recent times is that in the summer of 2017, a family on the Canadian east coast found a bottle closed with cork and sealed with wax and containing a handwritten letter: it was signed by a Mathilde Lefebvre and dated April 13, 1912. “I throw this bottle into the sea, in the middle of the Atlantic. We should be arriving in New York in a few days. If anyone finds the bottle, contact the Lefe-bvre family in Liévin, “the girl wrote. It belonged to the passengers of the luxury liner” Titanic “, which sank after a collision with an iceberg on the night of the 14th. to April 15, 1912. Mathilde and her family were also among the unsaved victims Researchers in Canada have been studying whether the girl’s letter is really real since 2018. Some point the finger at it, others as the place of discovery and writing feeds doubt.
The oldest message in a bottle to date is a bottle of beer that a Kiel Fjord fisherman caught with a net in 2014. It contained a postcard with two postage stamps from the German Empire, dated May 17. 1913. It has since been exhibited at the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg. The Hanseatic city is already an El Dorado for lovers of bottled mail, as the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency has probably the largest collection of its kind in the world.
Marine debris exerts a magical attraction on many people almost everywhere. This is especially true in the Netherlands, where there are many beaches and many views of the wrecks. Picking up stranded items has traditionally been so popular in the Netherlands that people have a legendary reputation. Beach thieves or beach collectors are called Jutter. Long ago, the jutters picked up what had been rejected by the crushed ships. In the past, they often used driftwood for heating or building houses, today they collect wrecks in order to sell them prohibited at flea markets or kindly donate them to jutter museums so that island tourists do not even leave prematurely. in bad weather.
There are jutter museums on the Dutch islands like, we would almost like to joke, the sand by the sea. Along with the “Flora”, the island of Texel in the North Sea has the “largest jutter museum ter Wereld », That is to say the largest in the world. Which of course sounds better than the smaller one if you want to attract a lot of visitors. The “Flora” particularly attracts families with children, which is why it is a bit long. From a distance you can see colorful plastic balls in the trees outside. The palisade is also lined with these fishing buoys, along with rescue tires, rubbish and thousands of rubber gloves from North Sea fishermen.
In general, the 75-year-old Texel wrecks on display are mostly non-hazardous waste. It has more Yellow Bin content than Robinson Crusoe. Exhibition sheds are overflowing with plastics, rusty electronic waste (including plates from Russian printers), and half-broken tube TVs. Sometimes there is an original unique piece, sometimes like an image in a newspaper photo where you can see them lying dozens of times on the beach. A container that went overboard and then broke open let them go. The view is reminiscent of a Documenta installation. It was certainly a highlight of the Neptune gift catalog for the Jutter, as they usually collected mountains of construction helmets and bottles that were transferred to the sea by oil rig workers or sailors. The Jutter Klaas Uitgeest has collected 1,500 bottles of schnapps over 25 years and donated them to the museum in 2012. But none of them with a letter in a bottle. It’s a shame, of course the reader of “Schatzinsel” says and says to himself: is that it?
Not enough. Between all the cartridges, life jackets, boxes of cigarettes, pill strips and old war ammunition from a piece of rubble from a German Tornado fighter plane, there are also dirty coins and chains of jewelry. You can even see a small pirate flag, a 1949 scotch case and a broken boot belonging to the famous Dutch sailor Michiel de Ruyter. The shoe was recovered in 2007, although the legendary admiral died at sea as early as 1676. The story is truly astonishing, but it does not correspond to that of the “love box”, whose crossing of the seas took place. completed in 2005 off Texel.
Its contents are displayed in a display case: including a plush ladybug, Pooh-Bear cards, dildos and photos of Jonathan and Rebecca from England. The couple had been united in love for a long time, until Rebecca broke up for some unknown reason, which is why an angry Jonathan packed all the memorable items in the box and gave them to the sea. Others interesting pieces have found their way to Texel from the British coast. Among other things, a cardboard cutout of “Star Trek” Captain Picard. He had been blown into the sea from a fair on Brighton Pier.
The most astonishing exhibit, and at least from the point of view of German visitors, the highlight of the museum, are two DFB foosball figurines, flanked by elves at attention and information on the products of the Lukas Podolski table football. They come from a container that was lost on its way from the inexpensive producer to the consumer shortly before the 2006 World Cup and released its goods. German national soccer players like wrecks ending up in Holland from all places – crazier than any message in a bottle. Unless they were handed over to the Atlantic by Jogi Löw in Brazil in 2014, including a sketch of his plan to defend the World Cup in 2018.