A photograph, laminated and backed with 3mm Dibond, H 45 x W 30.5 cm (Edition of 7)


Insurance value 1,000 Euros

Since 2010, Tanya Ury has been working on the research project Who’s Boss – Empire’s New Clothes, as PhD. in Humanities candidate at Leiden University, Institute for Cultural Disciplines (NL)



In the summer of 2006 Hugo Boss produced a new men’s cologne “Selection”, and presented it with the slogan “Setze eine Zeichen” (“Leave a Mark”). For many people with critical awareness, this word recalls the Nazi’s selection on the ramp at the entrance of the concentration camps, of those fit enough to work as slave labour from those to be exterminated. It is inconceivable that the company is not aware of this association and proves therefore to be an extraordinarily crass choice of label, particularly given the company’s Nazi history.

For Who’s Boss: Selection I photographed an advertisement placard of the new fragrance in a Warsaw shop window, early October 2006, as a man wearing a jacket with camouflage-design was walking past, thereby suggesting Boss’s former military connection.

The poster texts says that: “Thomas Kretschmann the German actor, who lives in Los Angeles, has mastered the most varied challenges in his life.

He was born in Dessau of the former German Democratic Republic and was a member of the Olympia swimming team. At aged 20, he fled to West Berlin via Hungary and Austria, however, so that he could realise his dream of becoming an actor here (in Germany). As a stage and film actor he rapidly won the hearts of Germany and soon gained the prize of best newcomer.” (Boss promotion)

The text of this advertising campaign seems to suggest a particular pride in Kretschmann for having attained his greatest success in West Germany and not the former East. Boss the quintessence of capitalist achievement, with this rupture however, suppresses the shared and inseparable Nazi inheritance of the BRD and DDR.

Camera: Tanya Ury
Digital image processing: Claudia Stasch