"A nice day. The anthems have died
In the beginning the brass band is playing.
This is a festive moment.
And in us the memories are glowing."
Ror Wolf, Football Sonnets "Nineteen hundred and seventy-four"
In this series of portraits, Volker Schrank turns the process of how a hero is constructed in the media into this topic: the creation of a German myth. Schrank depicts the players of the 1974 World Championship squad not as a team but portrays them as individuals, directing the observer's focus towards the players' eyes as the most expressive part of their faces. He shows each player in the pose of a footballing hero and turns their personal features into the focal point of the picture. At the same time he reconstructs the typecasting of footballers as he remembers them from the collector's cards of his youth. The details of the photos remain the same, all the pictures are of equal size, the players´ strip is uniform and blurred – just like the monochrome background. Despite his strong visual presence, the idol remains distant. Entranced and taller than life, the squad members of the 1974 German World Championship team stand for the myth, which they embody as footballing heroes in the collective memory beyond their own generation.
bildkultur presents the portrait series
A Collection of Heroes
as an exhibition:
17 Ditone – Fine Art Prints
Deckle-edged copperplate paper 310 g
Picture format 1,000 x 1,300 mm
© Volker Schrank / bildkultur 2006
Horst Dieter Höttges
Hans Georg Schwarzenbeck
lives and works in Stuttgart. In 1999, he won the Award of the Federation of Independent Photo Designers. In 2000, he received a scholarship from the Art Foundation Baden-Württemberg.
He became well-known for his collection Stars of Truth, which portrayed Germany's major television newscasters in a new artistic way. He unwaveringly devotes himself to the photographic exploration of myths.