Portfolio of 53 Polaroids

Nadine« Düsselorf 1999; Polaroid 8 x 10 inches, edition: unique

Skinsmodsteds by Kate Bush
„sub-cultural styles do indeed qualify as art, but as art in (and out
of) particular contexts; not as timeless objects, judged by the
immutable criteria of traditional aesthetics but as ‚appropriations‘,
‚thefts‘, ’subversive transformations‘, as movement“
Dick Hebdige: Subculture: The Meaning of Style

As Karlheinz Weinberger’s teen rebels outraged the citizens of Zurich in
the late 50s, in Britain, a variety of comparable working-class youth
cultures sprang up in the post-war years, as both symptom and sign of
social and cultural upheaval in traditional community life.

The Teddy boys plundered an Edwardian style of dress (revived in the
early 50s by Savile Row for wealthy men about town), and fused it with
influences deriving from black America. Their extravagant style – drape
coats, suede shoes, glamorous quiffs, velvet collars – contrasted with
the studied economy of the Mods and their fastidious, neat dressing,
which was in turn modelled on the conventional uniform of the
middle-class business man. The Mods emerged in the early 60s as a
recognisable sub-culture, and by the end of the decade had transformed
again, bequeathing aspects of their style to a new group: the
skinheads. The skins built on the mod’s puritannism to create a dress
code that was emphatically proletarian. With their shaven heads, jeans,
braces and shiny Doctor Marten’s, they developed a style that was a
„kind of caricature of the model worker.“ For all three subcultures,
the influence of black culture was decisive, and reflected the proximity
of white working-class people to new communities of West Indian
immigrants. The mods worshipped soul music, while the reggae-loving
skinheads – before racial tensions increased at the dawn of the 70s, and
before their identity was hijacked by the far right – drew inspiration
from young West Indian rudeboys.

Where Weinberger’s irreverant teens dreamed a different future for
themselves, Oliver Sieber’s latter-day sub-culturalists seem to dream
about a different past. His portrait study of skinheads, mods and teds,
made in Sieber’s hometown of Dusseldorf in 1999, might conceivably have
been photographed three decades earlier. These startling images of
‚perpetual ‚adolescents, speak of the resilience and fluidity of
sub-cultural identity across time and culture.

Photographische Sammlung/ SK Stiftung Kultur Köln, 2002

Markus« Düsseldorf 1999; Polaroid 8 x 10 inches, edition: unique

Kerstin« Düsseldorf 1999; Polaroid 8 x 10 inches, edition: unique

Kyotographie 2015 at Asphodel, slide projektion

Danny« Düsseldorf 1999; Polaroid 8 x 10 inches, edition: unique

Uwe« Düsseldorf 1999; Polaroid 8 x 10 inches, edition: unique

SkinsModsTeds and one Punk; Photographers‘ Gallery London, 2002

Nadine« Düsseldorf 1999; Polaroid 8 x 10 inches, edition: unique

Sammy« Düsseldorf 1999; Polaroid 8 x 10 inches, edition. unique

Mici« Düsseldorf 2002; c-type print 40 cm x 30 cm, edition: 5

Deutsch—Young German Photography, Kruse Verlag Hamburg 2002



2020: Uniform« Mast, Bologna [G]
2015: Kyotografie Festival, Kyoto [G]
2006: Das Gegenüber zum Sprechen bringen«
Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen [G]
2005: Coolhunters – Jugendkulturen zwischen Medien und Markt«
ZKM Karlsruhe [G]
2003: Geometry of the Face« [G] National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen
2002: SkinsModsTeds and one Punk« Photographers‘ Gallery London
2002: SkinsModsTeds / 11 Freundinnen…
Photographische Sammlung/ SK Stiftung Kultur,Köln

Sammlung: (Auswahl)
Photographische Sammlung/ SK Stiftung Kultur Köln