Gerd Berger, …ich bin ein Junge – du bist ein Junge… (…I am a boy – you are a boy…), 1978

Dust jacket back and front

Dust jacket back and front

 

One my favourite gay photobooks from the latter half of the twentieth century is …ich bin ein Junge – du bist ein Junge… ( … I am a boy – you are a boy… ) by German photographer Gerd Berger. Published just one year after the release of David Hamilton’s film Bilitis, the book is the obvious homoerotic counterpart to Hamilton’s world of soft focus girl-fantasy. Berger’s dreamy images tell a simple story of boy meets boy, shot as film stills for an unmade gay period drama. They flirt with kitsch and are undeniably camp, but this is exactly the charm of the book. On the surface it is a soft, romantic and ridiculously idyllic version of gay love, but seen in context, it was a strong, defiant and practically solitary voice in 1978.

The models are Berger’s own discoveries, the Italian boy from the streets of Florence, and the fey blonde from a discotheque in Hamburg. The mother in the book is the real-life mother of the blonde boy. They travelled to Tuscany for a month for the production, in a Volkswagen camper packed with antique furniture and props. This is certainly one of the “forgotten” homoerotic photobook treasures.

Published by Germian-Verlag Hamburg 1978.

Text Michael Lehmann

Hard cover with dust jacket (some copies included a four-page promotional booklet)

21.5 x 28.1cm

88 pages

Cover back and front

Cover back and front

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Advertising brochure back and front

Publishers promotional booklet back and front

Advertising brochure inside

Publishers promotional booklet inside