In the Middle of the West
In the Middle of the West
Dirk Gebhardt, Axel Thünker, Stefan Worring, Wolfgang Zurborn
Concept: Dirk Gebhardt, Wolfgang Zurborn
Publishing house: KiWi Köln
160 pages, hardcover
A voyage of discovery through the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis
Four photographers were on the trail of land and people, culture and nature in one of the largest counties in Germany. With their different photographic perspectives they draw an exciting picture of the region on the Rhine and Sieg and sensitize the viewer equally to historical, social and cultural aspects.
LVR-LandesMuseum, Bonn, Germany
Mitten im Westen|
Projection Thrown at the Wall
Photoireland Festival, Dublin, Ireland
Im Glanze dieses Glückes II|
Kunsthaus Rhenania, Köln, Germany
Mitten im Westen – Eine Entdeckungsreise durch den Rhein-Sieg-Kreis|
Galerie Lichtblick, Köln; Pumpwerk Siegburg, Germany
Image lust and festive culture
When is a landscape, a region, a place, a building considered worth seeing? When are the streets on the map are highlighted in green and cities are marked with asterisks? There seem to be fixed criteria according to which we perceive a region as picturesque, and they decide how old a building has to be for it to be worthy of our attention.In this globalized world, our perception of a region is reduced to a few tourist highlights.
The Rhein-Sieg district is right on my doorstep, but many of the places where I took photos for this book I knew before only from the exit signs on the highway. The work on this project becomes for me a voyage of discovery into the obvious. The seemingly familiar, everyday things develop into a multi-layered structure of omnipresent traces of an eventful history in a lively cultural landscape with strong religious imprints in the sense of a cheerful “Rhenish Catholicism”. The vitality of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis in the field of tension between traditional structures and the present of a modern media and mobile leisure society provides complex visual worlds, which in collage-like layering open up a puzzle of ever new perspectives.
It is not just a legend that the people of this circle are very sociable and never averse to parties. “But next time you come without camera and car, so we can celebrate properly.” This spontaneous invitation at the “Köttzuch” in Wachtberg-Gimmersdorf makes it clear how quickly conventional distance can be overcome, how much the attitude to life is characterized by sympathy and communication. People know how to celebrate their festivals. This expresses a great deal about their ideas of a community, about how they deal with expectations, desires and social rules. In my photographs of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis, celebrations of various kinds play a special role: Siegtal pur from Siegburg to Windeck, bachelor party in Alfter, Rheinbach Classics, fire department festival in Ruppichteroth, beach festival in Mondorf, tractor parade in Bornheim-Walberberg, Martinifest in Bad Honnef, Stadtfest in Troisdorf, Riesling Romantik Fest in Königswinter.
The images bring inconspicuous details from our environment into focus through surprising compositions, irritating cut-outs and unusual perspectives. The beautiful myths of the media collide with the real world. Photographs full of humor are created. The hierarchy between significant cultural assets and simple everyday objects is abolished. No search for timeless aesthetics, no touristy non-commitment, but a joyful tracking down of situations in which the pictures of situations in which the images join in the celebration - right in the middle of the action. The experienced moment is therefore the worth seeing!
by Niko Havranek & Sebastian Gansrigler
Interview by Niko Havranek & Sebastian Gansrigler with Wolfgang Zurborn on 28 pages with 24 images from the series “Frontgarden of Illusios”, “People Pictures - Picture People”, “LUsionen”, “dressur real”, “At the Centre of Speed”, " Drift", “Catch”, “In the Middle of the West” and “Karma Driver”