On 14.6.2014, a street festival took place on Lothringerstraße in Aachen, Germany. katharinajej puts up a hammock in between a traffic light and a road sign at the end of the street. People are passing, cars rushing. In front of the hammock a sign reads: "Join me for a moment of heaven." katharinajej lies down in the hammock waiting for her guests.
... a man lay down with me, red plaid shirt, jeans, perhaps 40 years old, with a white Basque cap. He smelled of alcohol. We were suddenly very close in the hammock. Our bodies snuggled together. The hammock did not allow anything else. My head was in his arm. He told me about his roof terrace on which he invites friends by telling them: There is no music and nothing to eat. Just come and watch me in the sky. He will soon be flying for the first time, which he never did before. Actually he thinks it is a funny idea to be in a tube in the sky and to leave contrails behind. He was happy to see clouds and no azure because he thinks that clouds are much more beautiful and varied. His friend appeared in front of the hammock, what gave him the opportunity to say goodbye. He wanted to kiss me, I gave him my hand so that he could kiss my hand.
... a woman lay down with me in the hammock. Blue eyes and a white embroidered blouse, I guess she was 40-something. Her friend had just gone to withdraw money from the bank. Next thing, she was laying in my arm. She told me that she lives in a suburb of Aachen and always dreamt of having a hammock in her garden. Only the trees are missing. All the more she enjoys being in the hammock here and now, she said. Then, we ran out of things to say. When her friend came back from the bank, she crawled out of the hammock.
... a man in his 40s with glasses walked up and stood next to my hammock. He stayed there for some time and said he would lay down with me, but now he's not in the mood. Then, he asked if he could join me in the hammock together with his dog. I accepted. He told me his dog was a Mexican nude greyhound and that we should not rock the hammock too hard due to this fact. In the past, this breed was known to show people their way after death. For his dog, he will cook later a dish made from meat, carrots and onions. His dog is allowed to sleep in bed with him. The man would have stayed longer with me in the hammock but I was getting a bit chilly...
On 8.9.2017, as part of the City Leaks Festivals Interacting Day, katharinajej puts up a hammock in between a pillar of Hansaring station in Cologne and the pole of a streetlight. People are passing, cars are rushing by. The sky is grey, the ground rain-drenched. In front of the hammock a sign reads: "Join me for a moment of rest." katharinajej lies down in the hammock waiting for her guests.
..after a while alone in the hammock, a young woman, around 20 years old and wearing red-dyed hair in braids, walks straight up to me. She says that she's just missed her bus and feels like laying down with me. As she lays there beside me, she tells me of how seldomly she's been using a hammock. Her flat doesn't have a balcony and there just aren't that many possibilities for her to go outside. The hammock's dangling below the roof of the train station, sheltered from the rain. It's cold, but her body warms me up as she lies close to me. She's been waiting for better weather, so she can go skydiving. It's been postponed. I'm admiring her courage. She's looking to do something extraordinary in life, for a change. Then, she remembers she's still been waiting to catch that bus. She gets up and says bye in order to check when it's going to arrive.
...a middle-aged man wearing a grey cap and black leather jacket lays down beside me. He eyes the white slats of the ceiling above and remarks that some of them are missing. He imagines how many baby pigeons may already have hatched up there. He's just been to a rehearsal in which he's been trying to clownishly put up a folding chair. He's been rehearsing his own incapacity. As he speaks, I feel the vibration of his voice in his chest. At the same time, he softly pushes the hammock with his foot and so we gently sway from one side to the other. We go all silent. Comfortably rocking along, he remembers a workshop on erotic bondage, in which he was handcuffed and hung from a tree. Then another man, wearing a purple jumper, lays down next to me in the hammock. It carries the three of us fine. I'm being warmed from two sides now...
Pictures by rwinter