Amos Badertscher: The Souls Around Us
Amos Badertscher is a Baltimore native now in his 80s. Using a small inheritance, he began to photograph full-time in the 1970s, concentrating on Baltimore’s peculiar hustling subculture, in which largely white, working class toughs, many of whom were straight-identified, nonetheless worked a local park, as had their fathers before them. These youths, generally products of broken homes and poverty, were often addicted to drugs and alcohol, as were their parents. Many, as he notes in the writing on the photographs, didn’t live into their thirties, victims of crime, AIDS, their own demons, poverty and drugs. Badertscher, keenly aware of the complex power dynamic implicit when a middle class, middle aged man picked up drug-addicted youth barely surviving at the social margins, implicated himself in this fraught power exchange—he had money and standing, they had youth and beauty– by often photographing himself along with his models in mirrors.
Formally inventive, unabashedly queer, this retrospective is Badertscher’s first comprehensive museum exhibition outside the US. Until this moment, he has worked almost unknown and uncelebrated for decades, taking literally thousands of photographs. The Schwules Musems presents about 100 of them.
Curator: Jonathan David Katz
Co-Curator: Hunter O’Hanian
Production Management: Peter Rehberg
Vernissage: 5. March 2020. From 5 pm: Curator Jonathan Katz discusses Baderstcher’s body of work with art historian Katrin Köppert (Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig), and Peter Rehberg (SMU’s head of the archives).From 7 pm: Party!
Exhibition: 6. March 2020 until 27 July 2020
A cooperation with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York