"Schmidt made EIN-HEIT (or U-NI-TY) in response to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent reunification of East and West Germany. Composed of 163 pictures, some taken by the artist, others culled from newspapers, old and recent magazines, propaganda journals, history books, and related sources, this work is a meditation on national identity. Schmidt drew upon two artistic traditions in photography: the use of the medium as a means of expression by individual practitioners, and its use as a vast resource of existing images that can be drawn from and reused at will. Bringing the two together, he explored the relationship between the individual and the state, from the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 through the nearly fifty years of ideological opposition that divided Germany after 1945.
Schmidt interspersed contemporary photographs of ordinary places and individuals with archival images of anonymous and famous people, interiors and exteriors, mass scenes, emblems, and monuments. History is presented not as a linear sequence of well-defined events but as a decentered, simultaneous overlapping of ever-shifting frameworks and viewpoints. Viewers are obliged to ponder whether a given image was made in East or West Germany, before or after World War II, during the period of separation, or since reunification."