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By the Sea

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The exhibition ‘Ans Meer’ with photographs by Nicole Strasser is on view at the Galerie für Fotografie in Hanover from February 16 to March 26, 2023.

It is in our human nature to both love and fear the sea. The quintessential symbol of freedom, wanderlust and inspiration, it has a unifying quality – be it as a connector between different cultures, a food resource or a place of recreation.

Nicole Strasser, a graduate of the Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts, covers the full spectrum of the ‘seaside experience’ in six photographic series, all of which were captured in maritime locations and previously featured in Mare magazine.

In Benidorm on the Spanish coast, Strasser shines a light on mass tourism: once a small fishing village, Benidorm rapidly mutated into a conglomerate of high-rise buildings, earning it the nickname of ‘Benihattan’ or ‘Beniyork’.

This is contrasted by Biarritz, the elegant French seaside town where Napoleon III had Villa Eugénie built as a summer residence at the base of the Pyrenees. Even today, Biarritz emanates the grandeur and extravagance of its illustrious past.

In Sausalito, at the north end of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the photographer found an entirely different world: during WWII, Sausalito was home to a shipyard from which several Liberty ships were launched. After the war, the site became a no-man’s land; today, however, it contains an eclectic houseboat community, comprising 245 floating homes permanently docked along the shore.

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