This soil we have created for ourselves
There have been many attempts in the past to establish a German nation and countless ideas about what exactly such a nation should look like. After the horrors of World War II, the idea of Heimat and any prominent expression of national pride almost completely disappeared from German public discourse for many years.
In the current time of great upheavals both in Germany and beyond, the calls for a sense of national identity and a clearly defined Heimat have become louder than they have been for a long time. They are exposed to a tug of war between diverse forces, in which they are instrumentalized, played down and robbed of their own complicated history.
This soil is a reaction to the current excesses of this tug of war and to the long and unsettling shadows of Germany's past that it exposes.
The project combines a photographic search for traces of bygone myths, ideologies and utopias with a personal reaction to my homeland, which has become both strange and frightening to me. It puts images into dialogue, which on the one hand were taken at German places of memory and museums, where the German past is preserved, shaped and presented as history. On the other hand, images of the everyday surroundings of German towns and villages, in which the echoes of the past take on the forms of shadows and a paranoid feeling of isolation and demarcation.
This soil seeks to reveal the expressive power of Germany's man-made environment, to unearth its knowledge of the past, and to thus raise questions about the latter’s complicated relationship to the present and the potential, be it positive or negative, it holds for Germany's future.