Friday, 18 November 2011

Postcard of the Day No. 52, Leipzig

This is a puzzling postcard – it appears to be a festival of advertising placards held aloft by men in hats and overcoats. Competing messages are everywhere and in the centre an insignificant figure (labelled DRGM - Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster - German Registered Design – is this satirical?) brandishes an under-nourished Christmas tree. We seem to be present at a giant carnival of commerce, a parade of publicity. This may be a complete misreading of the situation and comments and corrections would be more than welcome. The city of Leipzig is noted as a major centre of trade and its reputation is further confirmed by the two cards shown below. One presents another busy street scene in the centre of which an oversized cigarette mounted on cartwheels is manoeuvred along the highway – an artfully disguised super-gun or an inducement to take up smoking. The second card shows a Constructivist tower adapted for displaying posters for consumer products. Absurdly tall and out-of-scale, it totally disrupts the architectural harmony of its immediate surroundings but the fact that it was selected as a postcard subject suggests it was the object of some local pride. It’s an impressively brazen concept that makes no concessions to civic values.

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