A pitch, two goals, 22 players, open meadows or rough ground, with only a handful of spectators: for more than ten years, Dutch photographer Hans van der Meer visited the playing fields of Europe, photographing football in its most elementary form as it is played weekend upon weekend in the lower league clubs of the villages and suburbs.
The photographs and videos by Hans van der Meer are sociological portraits of a fascination that captivates, shapes and inspires men (predominantly) from childhood onwards. At the same time, his photographs are landscapes that document different aspects of life, work and play – from city suburbs to remote villages – and show the rough and filigree textures by which they are interwoven in the urban and rural context.
These photographs are diametrically opposed to the highly paid, style-conscious world of football that is marketed worldwide on television. As an exhibition on the theme of football and passion, this is a wonderful and often witty complement to the big business of Euro08.
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