Eddo Hartman, Trolley Bus, Somun Street, Pyongyang, 2015, from the series Setting the Stage, Pyongyang, North Korea, 2014-2017 © Eddo Hartmann

Máté Bartha, Kontakt I, 2018, from the series Kontakt (2018) © Máté Bartha 

Paula Markert, Anklagebank, Schwurgerichtssaal 101, Oberlandesgericht München, from the series Eine Reise durch Deutschland. Die Mordserie des NSU, 2014-2017 © Paula Markert 

Salvatore Vitale, A border guard is performing a fingerprint registration, from the series How to Secure a Country, 2014-2018 © Salvatore Vitale 

©️ Robert Schittko

5 June – 19 September 2021

The exhibition “Us and Them” transported the viewer to various communities whose identity formation follows the principle of demarcation and thus, of exclusion. The mechanisms employed to nurture a sense of belonging, strength and control range from the establishment of comprehensive security systems to the creation of myths and the evocation of enemy images to be fought against. 

In his series “Kontakt”, Máté Bartha (*1987 HU) portraits military summer camps for children and adolescents in Hungary. Camping out in the open air, they hike, sing together and receive military training with replica weapons. The programme, which demands strict discipline from its participants, sometimes includes punishments such as push-ups, and may also result in bruises. The camps are intended to instil camaraderie and patriotism in the girls and boys. 

Working as a photographer in North Korea is almost impossible due to strict censorship restrictions. Despite these adversities, Eddo Hartmann (*1973 NL) officially visited the capital Pyongyang four times between 2014 and 2017. The images of his project “Setting the Stage” show a metropolis, charged with imposing symbolism and built in accordance with the socialist ideal. The city appears cold and deserted, but above all serves as a curious stage set for the self-created myth of the authoritarian regime.

The so-called National Socialist Underground (NSU) is responsible for the racially motivated killing of nine people in Germany between 2000 and 2007. It was not until 2013 that the trial against the right-wing extremist terrorist group began. At that time, photographer Paula Markert (*1982 GER) started to work on her project “A Journey through Germany. The NSU series of murders”. In her work, she documents people and places associated with the group, thus creating multi-layered imagery of the inconceivable events and their processing by state institutions, the latter of which remains questionable to this day. 

For most people, any mention of Switzerland conjures up images of a peaceful alpine idyll in the heart of Europe. However, in the publication “How to Secure a Country” by Salvatore Vitale (*1986 IT), it reveals a different side of itself, that of a highly militarised state permeated by a far-reaching security system and safety-mindedness. In observations collected over many years, Vitale’s visual research project details the way his adopted country deals with military border security, IT infrastructure, and terrorism.

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation
The Cube, Mergenthalerallee 61
65760 Eschborn



Opening hours
Visits as part of guided tours with advance booking via the website and on Open Saturdays without advance booking