For many years Oliver Sieber has been asking young people to appear before his camera, people whose clothing is associated with a specific subculture, be it punk, skin, teddy boy, rockabilly, goth, etc. Many are extravagantly styled, yet while sometimes the look is an elaborate act, other times an individual figure’s appearance strikes the artist’s interest. Despite the narrow frame and the precision of the photographic depiction, the form of Sieber’s portraits lends the models a certain freedom. Seemingly lost in their thoughts, staring into the distance, they exude an autonomy, a presence within themselves at the moment when the image is made.
This freedom also corresponds to the manner in which Sieber displays the pictures in the most recent presentation of his work.
In Imaginary Club the figures are not arranged according to types, instead the photographer combines the images of different color series with black and white shots of street scenes or concerts. In these juxtapositions of different styles and locations he creates an „imaginary club”, a co-existence of diverse styles that define themselves by the way in which they diverge from mainstream society. The fact that the portraits were created in Europe, the U.S. and Japan indicates how the shadowy apparitions of subcultures propagate themselves and are modified in the globalized pop underground(…)