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Sex-Theater

André Gelpke

André Gelpke’s series »Sex-Theater« was produced in the 1970s and depicted performers from a number of different sex theatres in Hamburg’s St. Pauli district.
»The fascination that captivated me as a photographer came from the personality of the individual, from the performer who was prepared to realize in public the secret sexual fantasies of an inhibited society, simply in exchange for a fee.«

 "Sex-Theater" was first published as a book in 1981 and quickly sold out. The edition produced in 2015 represents a new »staging« of the series: it includes an expanded selection of images and new texts, and is presented in a form that offers this collection of photos a contemporary framing. The era that is depicted here is over, and the decline of these clubs is documented in "Sex-Theater".

André Gelpke (*1947) lives in Zurich and Grattino (Italy). From 1969 to 1974 he studied under Otto Steinert at the Folkwang School of Design in Essen. From 1990 to 2012, he was head of photographic studies at the Zurich University of the Arts, where he had a profound influence on a whole generation of students.

Languages: English, German