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Dresden-based photographer Matthias Haker keeps his forsaken sanctuaries a secret, guarded closely from meddlesome spirits and prying hands. When he asked about the aged ballrooms, power plants, hotels, and bathhouses, the artist responds evasively, “Somewhere in Europe…”

Haker understands that loose lips could lead to trespassing and vandalism, and like the tombs of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs, these clandestine bowers are vulnerable to harm. And still, despite all his precautions, the photographer takes for granted the fact that these crumbling chambers have only a limited lifespan; what was once new will turn to dust, and so he titles the series Impermanence.

Even when he is not in a literal church, Haker’s visions carry the perfume of the divine, even the apocalyptical. At the end of these windows, doors, and stairways to nowhere lies some forgotten prophecy, tucked away for safekeeping until some impending oblivion. These are scenes from a fairytale, but all the protagonists have since passed away, leaving nary a whisper in their wake.

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All images © Matthias Haker

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