BOOK LAUNCH JO RÖTTGER
„LANDSCAPES AND MEMORY“
Jo Röttger escorted a Bundeswehr military unit. He took his photographic equipment to a military
training ground; on a foreign deployment mission and back to the garrison. The three-fold process
of departure; a distant place and home-coming is not a story which is a happy, or even tragic,
rounded whole. While the pattern may have become an established precondition for a successful
military career, Röttger is not interested either in the professional soldiers or the deployment
He attempts to capture the distant place. A distance which is new for Germany.(…)
In distant places everything is out of alignment. Even the horizon appears to be located else- where. Because this is where the unknown begins. Jo Röttger’s photographs capture this angst.
Röttger entitles his Afghanistan photographs »Landscapes & Memory«, categorising them
within the three-fold process discussed at the beginning of this essay. He does not begin with his
first sight of the camp, which reveals itself through barbed wire and satellite dishes, and conclude
with what is, by the way, an indisputably threatening watchtower when taking his leave under a
wan sun. Instead he contrasts the stony light of Afghanistan with the German landscape and the
skies over Germany. This is where the soldiers crawl, shoot, deceive; where they hike, smell the
mountain air and rest. It is where camouflage functions; in Afghanistan it is exposed. The distant
place is not a Shangri-La.
(Text excerpts from „Attempts at Camouflage. Jo Röttger observes“ by Ansgar Reiß)
Jo Röttger (* 1954) studied Photography in Dortmund. In 1981 he started his collaboration with ZEIT Magazin in Hamburg,in 1984 he became a member of the photo-group Visum and has since been working for various international magazines. Jo Röttger lives and works in Hamburg.
Landscape & Memory
With texts by Ansgar Reiß and Martin Bayer
104 pages 30 colour photographs
30,6 x 25,8 cm
Hardcover Deutsch, Englisch