Tour du Monde
Chris de Bode

May 17, 2008 – Sept. 7, 2008 Deze tentoonstelling is afgelopen
See Paris and die. In line with this old and familiar saying, participating in the Tour the France is indeed the ultimate dream of every cyclist. All over the world cyclists race with this goal in mind. With ‘Tour du Monde' the Kunsthal presents a survey of photographs of many less well-known bicycle races made by photographer Chris de Bode in Colombia, Cuba, Senegal, Eritrea, Qatar and China.

The Bode portrays not only the countries in which bicycle races are ridden but also the sweaty bodies of participants, the nasty falls and the release of emotions at the finish.  These images of the races are alike all over the world and are clearly characteristic of the cycling sport, but have in this particular case been made at various unknown locations with anonymous leading men.

Exceptional Cycling Photography

Chris de Bode is not a prototypical photographer of cycling events. His camera is usually not aimed at the finish, the break away group or the peloton, but instead at the spectators on the sides of the road and in the neighbourhood of the track. In Colombia cyclists cross stern police officers and a military tank that simply stands there, ready and waiting. In Cuba gymnasts are lined up in a geometrical figure, waving their flags in an overcrowded stadium to welcome the sportsmen. In Senegal the participants race by, passing extremely beautiful natural landscapes on their way. In Qatar cyclists dash through the dust of the desert while being watched by a group of women wearing burkas. Only very rarely it is the case that the sportsmen themselves are the main subjects of De Bode's photographs. He takes their picture right before or after the race, while they kneel down praying in church or perspire vehemently when they are finally able to sit down next to their bicycles after the race.


At Mets & Schilt Publishers the bilingual publication ‘Tour du Monde, Colombia, Cuba, Senegal, Eritrea, Qatar, China' (ISBN 978 90 5330 556 0, in English and Dutch, has appeared (hard back) with a preface of cycling expert and Radio 1 reporter Jeroen Wielaert


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