The Swiss Institute, 2011 First edition Hardcover, 55 pages, 250 x 380 cm Condition: Fine
This publication reproduces a rare portfolio that Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger designed himself in the mid-1950s, when he developed a fixation with the working-class youth culture known as the "Halbstark", a young generation of Swiss rebels who were greatly influenced by American culture. 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 more than just a fashion statement. Blue jeans were a badge of status, differentiation and rebellion for working class Swiss boys and girls dissatisfied with the conservative climate.
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