Reeperbahn, Große Freiheit, Davidwache, Herbertstraße, Goldener Handschuh, sex theaters and peep shows - no less stereotypical than the places that form the myth of St. Pauli are the associated imagery. But St. Pauli was always also lived everyday life and for the most part had little to do with the phantasms that have always attracted curious tourists and suburbanites. What it looked like in this in-between world of red-light milieu and ordinary neighborhood life was captured on camera by Enno Kaufhold between 1975 and 1985. As a student of art and photographic history and based on the claim of social-documentary photography of those years, he sought an unobstructed view of the district, which he roamed at irregular intervals by day and by night to photograph with a hidden camera. The camera had to remain hidden in this setting because the photographer wanted to strictly avoid reactions to his camera - authenticity and unadulterated views without any evaluation of the sitter were the goal. From the beginning, it was clear that the photographs would not be published until a long time later. With a gap of almost forty years, the time has now come to bring Kaufhold's treasure trove of images and incomparable homage to the St. Pauli of the 1970s and 1980s to the public.
St. Pauli was not unknown to me when I moved from Bremen to attend the Hansa-Kol-leg Hamburg in 1967, catching up an my Abitur. At that time, I was an ambitious photographer already, and so I took my first St. Pauli photographs in the following years. In 1975, I had to decide what special subject I should choose to complete my studies in art history. Since photography had gained acceptance in this field in the meantime, the opportunity arose to complete a doctorate exploring a topic from photographic history.
Parallel to this, I began — as a kind of mental balan-ce to my academic studies — to photograph St. Pauli more intensively. Because my work had some affinity with the newer, social-critical positions in photography, I was very interested in this district with its lively mixture of everyday life and red-light milieu, looking beyond the myth. At the same time, I wanted the images to be as true to life as possible. That is why I hid my camera as I worked, hoping to exclude any reaction to being photographed. Whenever I felt like it, I roamed the streets of St. Pauli by day and night. From the beginning, I was aware that many years would have to pass before I could make the photographs public.
The time has now come. I have a selection of motifs that I believe brings to life the atmosphere of St. Pauli in the Tate 1970s and early 1980s quite authentically. The images, arranged chronologically by year, are almost all self-explanatory; consequently, the captions only record the places where the pictures were taken and their dates, although unfortunately and despite my best efforts, it is no Ton-ger_ possible to identify all the locations. Unaffected by this, I see my photos in their entirety as homage to the people I met in St. Pauli.
Enno Kaufhold, in summer 2021
Video von Kaufhold, Enno - St. Pauli. Fotografien 1975–1985
Article properties: Kaufhold, Enno: St. Pauli. Fotografien 1975–1985
Biography Enno Kaufhold, born in 1944, grew up in Dötlingen, Oldenburg. After an apprenticeship as a metal aircraft builder and subsequent military service, he worked as a machinist in Bremen and also attended an evening school. In 1967 he came to Hamburg and took his Abitur at the Hansa-Kolleg. Since then he has been drawn to St. Pauli at irregular intervals and took his first photographs. After graduating from high school, Kaufhold began studying art history with a minor in sociology at the University of Hamburg and decided in the mid-1970s to do his doctorate on a topic related to the history of photography, which at the time meant self-study in the field of photographic history.ü At the same time, he began taking photographs specifically on St. Pauli. Due to the topic of the doctorate, which included painting and photography, he sifted through the most important collection of historical photographs in Hamburg for several years, first at the Landesbildstelle and then at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. From the 1980s, when he started freelance work, he worked on completing his doctorate and at the same time as a professional photographer. This duality, the combination of journalistic-scientific and practical work, was to remain a principle of his work. It was during this time that he came into contact with F. C. Gundlach, who ran a photography gallery in the bunker on the Heiligengeistfeld.
From 1984 to 1986 Kaufhold accompanied a resocialisation project in the prison in Fuhlsbüttel as a photographer, which concluded with an exhibition and catalogue. This was followed in 1987/1988 in collaboration with the photo artist DG. Reiﬂ, a photographic portrait of the university quarter commissioned by the cultural authorities, which in turn resulted in an exhibition and a book. At the same time, together with Hans Meyer-Veden, F. C. Gundlach and Denis Brudna, he founded a working group that organised an extensive exhibition programme for 1989 to mark the 150th anniversary of photography. In autumn 1989, Enno Kaufhold left his studio Bei den Mühren and went to New York, from where he continued to write and photograph for German clients. Initiated by the fall of the Berlin Wall in November of the same year, he decided to live and work in Berlin in the future, but continued to maintain contact with Hamburg.
Among other things, he wrote regularly for Photonews and worked on several projects together with F. C. Gundlach, including on the history of fashion photography in Berlin and on the photographer Martin Munkacsi. Kaufhold's major works include the catalogues raisonnés of the photographic estates of Heinrich Zille and Christian Schad, and he also acted as curator of national and international exhibitions such as the 1st Ars Baltica Triennale of Photographic Art, which was shown in ten European cities from 1996 to 1998. Since 1997, Kaufhold has taught photo history and photo theory at state universities of applied sciences in Berlin and Bielefeld as well as at public schools.
This has included the private Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie since 2005. Over the years, Kaufhold has published numerous texts on various photo-historical topics and several books. With the publication of this St. Pauli book by Junius Verlag, he is continuing his formerly closer ties to Hamburg.