Robert Schlotter: Beyond Cold War, copyright 2014
Publisher: Mitteldeutscher Verlag
Texts: Andreas Montag and Fabian Knierim
Design: Sven Lindhorst-Emme
Language: German, English
Hidden in plain sight
If any country knows about borders, it is Germany. But also, of course, with the removal of borders and the transformation of this area. Robert Schlotter’s not only explored these borders, he set out to search for the former border areas of the Cold War throughout Europe. From Norway to Austria. The military contingent has disappeared, what remains are landscapes, green meadows, mountains, rocks, rivers, and occasionally abandoned or rededicated military installations. Schlotter does not offer a chronological or linear analysis, he takes stations at certain points and leaves the interpretation to the reader. What did it look like here before? The same? Was there a green border? Was the section brimming with military?
He provides the framework, which is to be filled in by the reader, this may be done by own research, by the power of imagination or by prejudice or simple fantasy. Likewise, the process of transformation, away from a border of any kind to an open space, is of course left to the reader. Schlotter’s photographs only take effect at second glance. It is only through the context that they change from generic landscape photographs to a socio-political analysis with the conclusion that borders can run anywhere and at any time, that no structures are needed to separate countries and people.