Swiss Rebels is a new retrospective covering the work of the politically engaged, self-taught, Swiss photographer and a Siemens warehouse clerk, Karlheinz Weinberger. An amateur photographer at the head of the company’s photo-club, he began taking pictures for the gay journal Der Kreis under the pseudonym Jim. In 1958, he came into contact with a gang of Halbstarke‚ those “delinquents“ from Zurich. Weinberger methodically photographed these Swiss-German outcasts who were fascinated by Elvis Presley and James Dean. He studied them like an ethnographer, with empathy, curiosity, and respect. They returned his affection. One by one, in couples or in groups, they camped before the camera, proud of the external signs of revolt. Taking photographs of immigrant workers, not to mention outcasts and reprobates, pays endless tribute to all forms of liberty. Well beyond ghetto photography, Weinberger turned his images into zones of resistance and pleasure.
Exhibition curator: François Cheval.
Exhibition produced by the Esther Woerdehoff Gallery and coproduced by the Rencontres d’Arles.
Documents: Patrik Schedler.
Publications: Swiss Rebels, Steidl, 2017; Halbstarke, Sturm&Drang, 2017.
Modern prints and wallpaper by Picto, Paris.
Framing by Ron de Hoog, Rotterdam.
With support from the Swiss Confederation and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.