The Danube River Project.
Photographs by Andreas Müller-Pohle.
Peperoni Books, Berlin, 2008. 160 pp., 80 color illustrations, 9x12".
The Danube is the European river per se flowing through ten countries—Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldavia and Ukraine—thus traversing more countries than any other river in Europe. The waters of the Danube reflect the glory and horror of recent European history: the wonderful urban panoramas of the so-called Danube Monarchy, but also national chauvinism, the Holocaust, and the ethnic persecution in the former Yugoslavia. As one of the continent’s most important trade and transport routes, the Danube is one of Europe’s vital arteries, navigable for seafaring ships from Kelheim, Germany to the estuary delta in Romania. where the condition of the river suffers most from pollution, as a result of agricultural contaminants, shipping oils, industrial waste, and municipal sewage.
The Danube River Project is a photo-, video-, and sound-portrait of the 2,800 km river at its most significant (historical sites, large cities, spectacular views) and quieter points. Using an amphibious photographic technique, Müller-Pohle produces strangely dichoptic portraits of the river, the above- and underwater landscapes depicted simultaneously at each station. Water samples from each place were analyzed and the laboratory values added to the pictures. A 'pictorial atlas' and 'blood count' all in one: an aesthetic and scientific compendium of Europe’s most important river, its cities and landscapes, from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.