If you’re from Europe and already skated before the year 2000, there is no need to explain to you who Helge Tscharn is. If not, let me put it like this: he is one of the main skate photographers from the ‘80s till the millennium and almost a maniac when it comes to his photos and their quality, which filled most of the pages of Monster Skateboard Magazine (you could say the predecessor of Solo) for over a decade. After having a massive impact on skateboarding photography in Germany, he took a quite drastic change and moved to Brazil. However, after some relaxed years next to the beach, life brought him back to Germany, and he directly continued where he’d left off – but with a different approach. He revisited the spots of some of his classic shots – this time without the skaters – to see how time has changed them and finally published the results in a photobook with the title Local Continuum.
In Local Continuum, Helge puts the original photo next to the current shot of just the spot, taken from the same perspective. Iain Borden, professor of architecture and urban culture, who contributed a text to the book along with Holger von Krosigk and Veith Kilberth, recognizes “the painful absence of the skater” in these new photos. The comparison shows that the city and its architecture need the bodies, movement, and activity to breathe life into the static space, he says. Local Continuum is, therefore, more than just a collection of iconic skate photos. Tscharn documents the change in public space and the decay or even the disappearance of spots, thus, releasing the original images from their time capsule and incorporating them into ongoing urban developments. Now you can see the scenery, aged like Dorian Gray at the end of Oscar Wilde’s famous novel, while in the original images, the tricks together with the spots shine eternally in full beauty.
This book is both a journey back in time and a look at the present, and we’re more than happy to publish it together with Helge. Local Continuum is available through our webshop.
David Conrads – Drop