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Sharp vision — photos from the museum’s collection

27. October 2004 – 16. May 2005

Ever since the invention of photography gays have used the medium for the purpose of self-affirmation. The young fishermen of Wilhelm von Gloeden signified the emancipation of the male nude. The images in our collection deal with desire and sexuality, violence and death.

Herbert List’s bathers are raking themselves in glowing sunlight. Seawaves are rolling over the headless, dark, idealized bodies of Wolfgang von Wangenheim. The changeable scala of desire ranges from the demure, muscular fighters of Bruce of Los Angeles to Gerhard Pohl’s leathermen.

The nude male couples of Ingo Taubhorn and Helmut Röttgen once were a provocation due to their self-confidence. Andreas Fuchs explores the branded body, revealed also by Albrecht Becker in a prolonged series of self-portraits.

Aron H. Neubert has closely followed the process leading up to Jürgen Baldiga’s death of AIDS. Baldiga’s own work on violence against gays, as well as Martin E. Kautter’s nude study of Hermes Phettberg, deals with an often neglected aspect. Uelli Etter playfully alternates vessels and arses – the arse as a fetish object captured on polaroid mixed with amateur shots from the Tiergarten cruising scene adding up to a lusty documentation.

Curator: Wolfgang Theis