Perhaps slightly naively, he describes Zelbst in terms of the "haunting dignity" of the subjects and as being about "the love of self". He signposted the room with the words "Love/Amor", fragments of Chile spilling over into Frankfurt, and echoes, he says, of a personal rite of passage.
In truth, showing alongside Zulu Lulus, the black period portraits were a complex web of social, personal and artistic representation. Although these pictures could just as easily have been read as victims - the nameless thousands that disappeared in Chile or vanished from police cells under apartheid - they posed far more difficult questions than the frontline unrest pictures that had earlier characterised South African photography.
How are we seen? How do we see ourselves? Who frames us? Through whose voice are we talking? One has to wonder what the subjects of the photos would think if they knew that they were on display on the other side of the planet. Like the bits of discarded Frankfurt in latex, they had been reclaimed from the street, exiled, romanced and frozen in time as products.
|Frankfurt in Latex|
Wayne Barker: Artist's Monograph