Football eats itself. The greatest game in the world is at a decisive turn of the times. Are the fans alienating from their beloved football as a result of the tremendous excesses of commercialisation? Is the final whistle of the greatest game in the world about to be blown in the face of corruption, greed, abuse of power and the ignoring of human rights? Especially during the major events of the World Cup, these ominous developments are becoming increasingly clear. But although many fans may be at odds with each other, they are all gripped by an unbridled passion for football, traveling to the venues or at the latest, cheering on their teams in front of the screens when the World Cup kicks off.
The photographer, filmmaker and football fan Christian Frey has also been travelling alone or with colleagues for multimedia blogs to World Cup and European Championship tournaments since 2006 with the aim of taking a critical look at the controversial major events, but above all to look behind the scenes. He shows the developments of the gigantomania and at the same time tells little intimate stories about the inhabitants in the context of their social, political and societal situation.
Christian Frey’s atmospheric picture series present us sometimes serious, sometimes comical situations from the heart of the host countries. His photos move far away from all the clichés that are normally associated with major events. This is how the football culture of the (summer) fairytale days in Germany differs from that in the townships of South Africa or in the favelas of Brazil. But one thing in common becomes abundantly clear: the power of enthusiasm still outshines all suspicion of commercialism. Enthusiasm is alive and well among fans and is a projection screen, a source of identity, a meaning of life. The game is not yet over!
Thank you very much for your lovely introduction to my exhibition and your time and patience for setting it up, Peter.