European Prospects
Exploring European Identity through Photography
Volker Schrank (b. 1965) is a German photographer who lives and works in Stuttgart, Germany. He became well-known for his collection Stars of Truth, which portrayed Germany's major television newscasters in a new artistic way. In his work, Schrank devotes himself to the photographic exploration of myths.

Stammtische

Portfolio Stammtische

A table in a tavern or inn: the top is made of solid wood or veneer; it's easy-to-clean formica almost worn off. We rarely find a tablecloth covering it and flowers are practically non-existent. Sometimes there are pictures or photographs of long-forgotten guests or barkeepers on the walls behind the table, but often also antlers, pitchers or other devotional objects. In a sense, it is a table like any other. If there wasn’t that little sign Stammtisch [round table / regulars table] – an ash tray, a pennon, or a cast-iron sign, marking the table and its surrounding chairs and benches as a special territory, access only for certain persons.

But What is a Stammtisch? We all think we know. According to linguistic research, the German-speaking countries all associate identical elements of meaning. Some of the terms that are mentioned spontaneously are men, beer, and outspokenness – trust and sociability. In Stammtisch, Schrank has found an elegant and indirect manner to illustrate the rituals of societal discourse.