Soooooooooooo viele! shows photos of all kinds of groups, ranging from the beginning of photography in the 19th century to contemporary photo art; from circles to columns, from crowds to hordes, and from families to facebook – also focused on human beings in groups.
Deployment • Staff • Choir • Fashion show • Ensemble • Formation • Association • Harem • Jury • Committee • Legion • Team • Rearguard • Orchestra • Party • Pack • School • Union • Queue • Guild. The German language has a wealth of terms to designate groups, and photos from 1945 onward document many of them: photos of associations, with manifold arrangements and accessories, for self-projection and representation; pictures of family ceremonies for memory and visual enhancement of family bounds; photos of sport teams and school classes, still popular, albeit less severe, and still serving social cohesion and magic self-assurance.
Nothing has been published on this subject so far, and this book closes a gap in an entertaining and informative way, drawing on the wealth of documents that have come down to us from itinerant photographers, photo studios, and photo artists.
Starting from five (art)historical forms of group pictures – people sitting around a table, battle paintings, demonstrative gestures, upper class portraits, and „Nummerndramaturgie“ – the lavish book explores in 1800 photos traditions and new creations since 1843, considering not only frontal and ranged formations, but also random crowds, whether products staged by photographers or shaped by familiar cohesion and social structures. One of the issues dealt with is the question whether the longing for groups has recently increased (keyword social media and the filtering out of individual interests), given the apparently reduced importance of individuals in the face of team spirit, collective intelligence and human chains.