Published by Steidl. Edited by Esther Woerdehoff, Patrik Schedler. Text by François Cheval, Daniela Janser, Patrik Schedler.
Karlheinz Weinberger’s day job may have been relatively uneventful—working in a Siemen’s warehouse—but the photos he took in his spare time are anything but conformist.
Weinberger’s passion, and the focus of this book, is the rebel youth of 1950s and ’60s Switzerland, who channeled American rock-’n’-roll culture and made it their own with their rolled-up jeans and denim jackets, bouffant hairdos, striped T-shirts and customized belts boasting images of Elvis and James Dean. Weinberger’s lusty, free-spirited and self-confident portraits posit the defiant attitude of youth as a response to the conservative postwar era. Swiss Rebels also includes homoerotic images of rockers, bikers, construction workers and athletes, many of whom occupy positions outside of social norms. This publication is the first to present an overview of Weinberger’s provocative oeuvre.
Born in 1921, Karlheinz Weinberger was a Swiss photographer whose work predominantly explored outsider cultures. Between 1943 and 1967 Weinberger published photos of male workers, sportsmen and bikers in the gay magazine Der Kreis under the pseudonym of Jim, taken from Hanns Eisler’s song “The Ballad of Jim.” In the late ‘50s and early ‘60s he concentrated on Swiss rock-’n’-roll youth, whom he photographed with both tenderness and a hint of irony. Weinberger placed little emphasis on exhibiting his work; his first comprehensive show took place only in 2000, six years before his death.
Published by Swiss Institute/Presentation House Gallery/Museum Gegenwartskunst/Bywater Bros. Introduction by Gianni Jetzer.
Commencing his career in the 1950s as a self-taught photographer working primarily for the gay underground Zurich club and magazine Der Kreis, Karlheinz Weinberger (1921–2006) took candid shots of lovers, friends and strangers on the street with an overt erotic investment in his subjects. He soon developed a fixation with the working-class youth culture known as the “Halbstark” (or “half strong”). Its members demonstrated their anti-establishment stance with embellished outfits of denim and leather, in an exaggerated and homemade version of the popularized American bad-boy style of the time. In his stark, posed photographs of these young rebels, Weinberger focuses on individual figures, exploring both a personal erotic obsession and the cultural symbolism of blue jeans, whose scarcity in post war Switzerland implied not just a fashion statement but a badge of pride. This publication reproduces a rare portfolio of these works that Weinberger designed himself in the mid-1950s.
PUBLISHER Swiss Institute/Presentation House Gallery/Museum Gegenwartskunst/Bywater Bros
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 9.5 x 14.75 in. / 108 pgs / 54 bw.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 2/29/2012 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2012 p. 68
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9780920293850TRADE List Price: $45.00 CDN $60.00
AVAILABILITY Out of stock
STATUS: Out of stock
Temporarily out of stock pending additional inventory.