A Photo by Tobias Zielony


A few days ago I unearthed an old photo of mine. Only after some rumination I remembered the nice little story behind the nice little portrait.

The photo was taken in 1995. At that time I hung out with Tobias Zielony in our mutual hometown of Wuppertal, once he even booked me as a “model” for an official photo job. Since then, Tobias has gained an international reputation for his pictures with the leitmotif of juvenile fringe groups all over the world.

Back then, we were somewhere between civil service and university ourselves and drove around in his old pus-yellow Opel Kadett. One day he told me about a mortuary in Bochum built during the Third Reich which he wanted to take some pics of. I was instantly intrigued and got in the pus boil.

As far as I can remember the hall was really quite terrifying, all massive, high pillars made of pitch-black marble, meticulously arranged rows of austere chairs and no sacral decorations whatsoever. Just one cross adorned the central lectern, and that was made of carton painted silver – I swear!

While Tobias set up his tripod and took pictures, I roamed the hall and marveled at the monstrously elegant architecture. Finally, Tobias placed one of the heavy chairs in the central aisle and asked me to take a seat. This is how I became one of the juvenile fringe groups in the great pictures of Tobias Zielony.