Dickies x Titus Art Construction Tour 2021
Photography by Laura Kaczmarek
Words by Thomas Gentsch
Events in skateboarding have paused for over a year now due to the circumstances we’ve all been dealing with since 2020. But, as always, skateboarders around the world have worked to overcome these barriers and help get some things going. Tours might be limited to your home country, but are doable. Dickies and Titus have shared an enthusiasm for DIY projects over the past couple years and after a break in 2020, plans were made to make another DIY tour happen in 2021. Everyone was unsure about the state of the EU lockdown in spring ’21, which led to the decision of having it take place within Germany. So, after our past trips to the Netherlands, Belgium, and the South of France, we picked the city of Dresden for this year, located in the east of Germany. After Dresden’s beloved “Trini” DIY spot was torn down two years ago, this city with very ready-and-willing DIY skaters seemed like just the right pick.
Furthermore, the “Dickies x Titus Art Construction Tour” posed something special we had never had before. In 2021, it was all on the ladies! Female photo-ambassador Laura Kaczmarek united the work behind and in-front of the camera. Her friend, artist Clara Knör, was responsible for the artistic aspects of the project. And skateboarders Catherine Marquis, Lea Schäfer, Vanessa Konte, and Salome Keller experienced first-hand the joys of dirty hands and dusty clothes. Add in some help from veteran DIY-builders/skateboarders Tom Kleinschmidt and Thomas Prochaska, and you have a crew with all the passion you need for a project like this.
Dresden has an old platform next to an abandoned railroad track which combines relatively good ground under a roof in a remote location. The first day was spent planning out what exactly was to be built and the crew decided on three different obstacles. Forms were built, reinforced steel was welded, and on the third day, the concrete started getting poured. In the end, 8 (!) tons of concrete were used, shaping a unique coffin-style spine, a pole jam, a hip, and a quarter pipe. While almost the same amount of beer got drunk as concrete was poured, everyone still had to keep an eye out for the cops while the building commenced. Due to that, some of the work had to be postponed to a night shift. But hey, whatever ya gotta do!
Altogether, the building aspect of the project took four days. Since the fresh obstacles surely had to be tested out/skated, the drying time of the concrete had to be cut from two weeks to two days. Artist Clara Knör made good use of this time, leaving her personal artwork on the drying concrete while everybody else got increasingly eager to shred the three new concrete beauties. One week after their initial arrival, the time had finally come and the ladys proved that their work was amazingly skate-able.
After the dust had settled and everyone headed back home, reflecting on these ten days in Dresden, things really started to clear up. New friendships were forged like steel, new love was found in concrete bags, and everybody involved was a part of something special. “Giving can be nicer than taking” – we all hope these new “art-stacles” will serve some long lasting joy to skateboarders from Dresden and anybody who visits this beautiful city in eastern Germany!