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Michael P. Romstöck

zur Linde

A photographic survey of the symbolism and meaning of the lime tree.

The lime tree is anchored in German culture as a place of community and a symbol of justice and love. It is encountered as a village, court and cemetery lime tree or as a motif in art and literature. In the same way, the lime tree – detached from customs and folklore – has inscribed itself in everyday social life: as a description of a place, a TV series or a means of urban greening.

In „zur Linde” geht Michael Romstöck der Bedeutung der Linde nach – vom Schauplatz vorchristlicher Versammlungen, über den romantischen Blick auf die Natur, bis hin zu ideologischen Vereinnahmungen.

Using a large-format analogue camera, Romstöck visited more than 60 places in the Federal Republic of Germany over a period of one and a half years where either a linden tree itself with cultural-historical connotations or some other reference to the symbolism of the linden can be found. Taking stock, Romstöck combines various motifs, image types and text fragments into an essayistic narrative:

For what reasons did earlier generations erect (natural) monuments and how do we deal with them in the long term? How do they exist and behave in a rapidly changing world today? What can they tell us and what do they reveal about us?


Michael P. Romstöck (*1992) is a photographer and lives in Essen.

He studied at the Bauhaus University in Weimar (Visual Communication B.F.A.) and is currently about to complete his coronoa-delayed Master’s degree in photography at the Folkwang University of the Arts. In March 2021, his first photo book “zur Linde” will be published by Verlag Kettler in Dortmund.

In addition to his freelance work, he is “marginally employed” at the Museum Folkwang in Essen and also works as a freelance photographer and graphic designer.

His works often follow a documentary interest, even though he always questions the “photographic proof”.