Rebels, Karlheinz Weinberger

My life, said Karlheinz Weinberger in a 2000 interview on the occasion of his first major exhibition at the Museum of Design Zurich, started Friday evenings and ended Monday mornings. During the week, he was employed as a warehouse manager at the Siemens factory in Oerlikon, where he worked from 1955 until his retirement in 1986. He lived his whole life in the same apartment building. He moved only once, after the death of his mother, and then only from the second to the fourth floor.

Only with the aid of his camera, which he focused on the unusual, was he able to break free from the day-to-day monotony. He even had “Fotograf für das Ungewöhnliche” [Photographer of the Unusual] printed on his business card.

He made his first foray into photography as a high school student, with a so-called “Fünfliber-Kamera,” a small Agfa box camera that cost five Francs.

His subject was always man and his body: He openly photographed the shirtless workingmen in Zürich and, later, Southern Europe. Many of these photographs of young men were published under the pseudonym Jim in the international homophile magazine “Der Kreis [The Circle].”

In 1958, Karlheinz Weinberger discovered the ultimate “unusuals” in the Halbstarken, a group of young people that opposed assimilation and rebelled against the mainstream. They wore jeans, called “Bluejeans” then in Switzerland, rare for the time, which they embellished with studs, giant belt buckles and patches. They idolized Elvis Presley and James Dean and the clique became their universe. The Halbstarken, litterally the half-strong, established Switzerland’s first underground youth culture.

Karlheinz Weinberger photographed the Halbstarken with a Rolleiflex 2.8. In his apartment on the Elisabethenstraße, the kids could meet and listen to loud music. This astounding series, made in the years 1958 and 1963, is a collection of extraordinary portraits of the rebel youth in a post-war Switzerland in full economic expansion.

When the Halbstark movement broke apart, some of kids became bikers and formed motorcycle clubs. Karlheinz Weinberger followed them to their camps; he was invited to take part in club nights, rocker weddings, and even funerals.

These dropouts also found a retreat in Karlheinz Weinberger’s apartment, a refuge where no police, girlfriends, or gang members followed. There they could drink and smoke in freedom.

He also entertained in his apartment, in often-weekly sessions, certain men who he photographed over the years. The resulting series of photographs recall extraordinary rituals. In borderline mystic rites, men pulled out and masturbated while Karlheinz Weinberger endlessly photographed them.

These series of thousands of slides and color negatives, produced from the time of his retirement until his death in 2006, are especially intense. These near ritualistic sessions have a spiritual power that portray the pleasure, suffering, and aging of the male physique.

Most publications and exhibitions of Karlheinz Weinberger have heretofore primarily focused on the Halbstarken and Bikers. Thanks to meticulous recent archival work by the Estate, previously unknown works are now going to find an audience. In particular, early works as well as a selection from his final intense creative phase will be presented publicly here for the first time.

Esther Woerdehoff

Stefan Rappo

 

Stefan Rappo is the photographer of emotion. He creates refined and understated images free of embellishment or sophisticated staging. A return to the natural state and the primacy of emotions. With a cinematic allure, his images are like short films, silent and poetic – odes to women. Most striking is the calm and serenity. The spectator, although held at a distance, infiltrates the intimacy of the play, a huis-clos where the palpable tensions play off each other to create a narration.

At 30 years of age, Stefan Rappo left Switzerland and his job as a designer and constructor of heavy forestry equipment to pursue studies in a photography school in the south of France. He worked as a photo assistant for Camilla Akrans and Bruno Aveillan, and then for Peter Lindbergh, with whom he has worked for more than five years now. In parallel he works on his personal projects including staged cinematic photo-stories, female nudes, as well as more commercial work.

His shoots are meticulously planned, but once on set he gives free reign to spontaneity and liberty. Thus the essential elements and the emotions coalesce, creating life.

Philippe Guédon, Normal Magazine

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Athena Carey

Athena Carey is a fine art photographer living in Geneva Switzerland.

Her interest in photography was sparked at age nine, when her parents sent her abroad to visit her godparents with a small point & shoot camera. In the many years since then, she has moved on through many cameras, various photographic genres, and different medias. She has had her work published in books and magazines and won international awards for her landscape photography.

To share her love of photography, Athena teaches courses locally and offers workshops around the world.

Olivier Föllmi

Olivier Föllmi is a French-Swiss photographer born in 1958 in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois. He’s particularly known for his pictures of the Himalayas, especially Zanzkar, Tibet and its people. He married Danielle Föllmi in 1984, with whom he adopted two Tibetan and two Zanskaris children.
Having received a travel scholarship, went to Afghanistan at age 17. A year later, in 1976, discovered the Zanskar region. In 1988 he took over, along with his wife, two sons of a peasant couple Zanskar to take them to the nearest school, in Leh Ladakh. They spent 14 days in the deep canyon of the river Zanskar in winter. “Frozen River” tells the story of the trip that was also the subject of a photographic award in 1989 with the World Press Photo.
He was also selected in the festival of the image Visa in Perpignan, in 1999, for his reportage “Workers of the Himalayas”. He has performed around the world reporting for Life magazine, Paris Match, Geo, National Geographic, Grand Reportage, Stern, Epoca and Aérone.
Along with his wife Danielle and their four adopted children they recount their lives in the Himalayas, from 1998 to 2008 in the documentary “The fate of Föllmi”.
He has published more than 30 books with his collections of photographs.

Christian Kettiger


 

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Gérard Musy

Born in Switzerland in 1959, Gérard Musy received in 1986 his bachelor’s degree for an art history thesis on photographer Robert Frank. He currently lives in Paris working on commercial and personal projects. His clients include Armani, Paco Rabanne and other fashion labels, and his work is published in international magazines such as Vanity Fair, Harper‘s Bazaar and Skin Two. He has received several awards, including two Swiss Federal Grants, and his pictures are found among the collections of the Bibliotéque Nationale de France, the Swiss Foundation for Photography in Winterthur and the Museum de L’Elysée in Lausanne.

Steeve Iunker

Press photographer (he works part-time for a daily newspaper), Steeve Iunker tirelessly questions the role(s) of photography and of the image in the fields of information and documentary today in a radical and political way. What’s the point of being aware of everything happening in the world – at least potentially – when we like to think we are in the immediacy of transmission? What’s the point of promoting the fixed image? How can we find our place in our history, in our stories? Which mechanisms can we set, from the shooting to the shapes and the use, to be if not right, at least relevant? These are the basic questions which establish and weave a constantly evolving work, set out to precisely design its duties, its relationship to the text, its principles (or absence) of narration, its menace to the glance, to voyeurism, to convention. It is also a work which aims to get close to the taboos relating to the body, to sex, to death and to the standard social conception of big issues that affect human thought. Either he stays with an Aids patient in the terminal phase, he represents the professional life of an old prostitute, he confronts himself with the crisis in Gaza, he stores images of celebrities adorned with diamonds at Cannes Festival, discovers the backstage area of a fashion show, follows the police while investigating on crimes, or reveals the astounding world of plastic surgery, Steeve Iunker doesn’t chase icons. He shows. In a realistic, free and salutary way. Even if it might seem provocative or shocking. He only wants us to agree to see. To be responsible and clear-sighted.

Christian Caujolle

ANNA ELLESTUDIO

 

Christian Kettiger

Christian Coigny

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Born in 1946, Christian Coigny spent his youth in Lausanne. At 20, he briefly attended the Vevey School of Photography, where he primarily studied graphic design and composition. His burning desire to test himself in the trade led him to San Francisco, where he stayed for five years. With a meagre portfolio thus far, he managed to land a job on the Levi’s campaign, as well as a substantial volume of advertising work for Californian wines. At the same time, he familiarised himself with the art of still life. He then spent a year dividing his time between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, working for a number of fashion magazines.

On his return to Switzerland, he set up home permanently on the shores of Lake Geneva. He worked with various women’s magazines and was noticed by luxury fashion retail group Bongénie Grieder, who put him in charge of their poster campaign. These images would mark the true beginning of his career in Europe. He also works for numerous big name clockmakers and prestigious jewellers, including Chopard, with whom he has maintained a close relationship for thirty years.

Alongside these commitments, Christian Coigny took up his own work which, over the years, has come to occupy an ever greater place in his career. He published several works, among them Hommes et Portraits d’Artistes – Men and Portraits of Artists – (Favre). A Zurich advertising agency, very taken with his portrait of Jean Anouilh, offered him the Personalities campaign for Vitra. The 130 portraits of musicians, writers, painters and actors were shown in an exhibition at the Musée des arts décoratifs, in Paris in 2001. These photographs of famous people, seated on chairs by great designers such as Eames, Citterio, Starck, Bellini, Morrison or Thiel, are collected in the book, Sitting (Prestel).

Hans Feurer

Emma Jonsson Dysell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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René Burri

Werner Bischof

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Cornelia Hediger

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Gerhard Merzeder

 

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Alexander Palacios



Alexander Palacios Photographer; Basel



 

Alison McCauley

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Michael Zumstein

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CHRISTIAN TAGLIAVINI


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Swiss-Italian, born in 1971, educated in Italy and Switzerland, where he lives and works as a photographer.

This provides him the perfect frame and background to invent, create and totally produce images that blend fine arts and craftsmanship.

No, not simply images, as Christian Tagliavini loves designing stories with open endings (requiring observer’s complicity) on unexplored themes or unusual concepts, featuring uncommon people with their lives and their thoughts made visible. This rich and exciting collision of circumstances results in photos as a final product.

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