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f3 – freiraum für fotografie : Chloe Sherman : Renegades. San Francisco : Queer Life in the 1990s


f3 – freiraum für fotografie presents the exhibition Renegades. San Francisco: Queer Life in the 1990s by Chloe Sherman.

In the 1990s, San Francisco was the stronghold of queer life in the Western-influenced world. Young people, artists and free spirits flocked to the city to experiment with art, style, gender and identity, to be free, and to live their lives independent of mainstream society. A style-defining subculture emerged: affordable rents paved the way for bars, clubs, tattoo stores, art galleries, cafes, bookstores, and women-owned businesses. A new wave of feminism allowed gender identities to be explored and butch/femme culture reached a peak.

Young photographer Chloe Sherman also enjoyed life in the West Coast metropolis famous for its openness. As an art student, she began photographing San Francisco’s lesbian and queer scene. Inspired by Del LaGrace Volcano’s photographs of the London lesbian scene, Sherman captured her own world of femmes, butches, punks and studs, filling an entire wall cabinet with 35mm negatives. With the nuanced eye of an insider, her photographs documented an evolving community that resolutely rebelled against prevailing cultural norms and developed its own unique rules for dealing with common gender ascriptions and social coexistence.

For 30 years, the photographs of that period were stored forgotten in the photographer’s archive. Renegades. San Francisco: Queer Life in the 1990s presents the outstanding and historically significant photographs to an audience outside the USA for the first time. Chloe Sherman’s exhibition captures the rebellious spirit of the era and candidly portrays a forward-thinking era.


Chloe Sherman : Renegades. San Francisco: Queer Life in the 1990s
June 30 – September 3, 2023
f3 – freiraum für fotografie
Waldemarstraße 17
10179 Berlin, Germany

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