Peter Andres · Retrospective


Chapter 3

The way to the studio

Experiment a little more with the camera? Use artificial light in a targeted manner? But not just with a flash attached to the camera? Nude photography, image manipulation…?

A huge, new field of activity opened up!


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Studio shots Studio shots

Here are my first attempts at using the studio flash system. As you can see, the photos are still relatively static, as flash shots usually are. That soon changed in my image composition. But the experiences were very important for my photographic development.


Sofa and bookshelf

The first major photo performance. Created in 1983 and 1984 together with Patrick. The first shots were taken with normal light bulbs. The other series, however, were taken with the new studio flash system.

Canabrett… a word combination of canapé, a comfortable place to sit, and board, a shelf on my bookshelf.

Canabrett Canabrett Canabrett Canabrett
Cana + Brett Cana + Brett Cana + Brett


Cana + Brett Cana + Brett Cana + Brett Cana + Brett Cana + Brett Cana + Brett Cana + Brett Cana + Brett



The Swiss Fichenskandal 1985:
Je t’aime – moi non plus

It was February 1985. Communication among like-minded people. E-mail didn’t exist back then. And of course there weren’t dating apps either. The internet had only just been invented, and it wasn’t usable until the end of the 80s, and then only tentatively.

Nevertheless, the question kept coming up: are gays also registered?

And then in 1989 came the Swiss Fichenskandal. The Federal Police and the Federal Prosecutor's Office, together with the cantonal police, collected around 900,000 observation files on people and organizations, mainly from the left-wing environment (or rather: from the non-center-right camp).

Are we among them? – Maybe.
An attempt at a pictorial answer.

Communication among like-minded people Are gays also registered? Federal Police and Federal Prosecutor's Office collected 900,000 observation files (Fichen) Are we also there? – Maybe...


Judges and Judges

The reversal of a judgment

A short picture story, created and photographed on April 19, 1984. I used my studio flash system outside the house for the first time.

The judge The defendant The interrogation The verdict is pronounced The verdict is unbelievable The reversal of the verdict


Nude photos Nude photos

Living nudity

Nude photographs are fascinating and have their own special requirements. The photographic implementation requires caution and a certain amount of experimentation, because it is all too easy to fall into a cliché or into a purely sexual representation.

Living nudity, experiencing nudity are two wonderful experiences. Capturing it photographically can produce impressive images. I am just one of many photographers. Unfortunately, the possibility of publishing such images has suffered greatly in recent times. Facebook, Instagram and others say hello! Nudity is prohibited on many publicly accessible social media. This is in contrast to crime, war images, etc.

Lived nudity in images can go much further. I will address this with the topic of multidimensionality a little later.




Me - with Lamp

Taking photos in color is easy. It is a little more difficult to create colored nudes, because a practical level of abstraction is eliminated, which is automatically provided by black and white photography. That is why experiments with colored light were called for.

That was in June 1984.

Well, today in spring 2021 I have also found the right music for the compilation of the slides, the slide show.
Title: Summer of 1984 by RKVC (Rod Kim & Vince Cirino)


I was drawn to the «Sella 200» stool. At first sight! I had to have it. The design and idea are simply brilliant.
No question, it had to be used for a photo session straight away.

Model: Sella 200 stool
Manufacturer: Zanotta
Designer: Achille Castiglioni / Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

Sella 200 in Action


More time in the picture More time in the picture

View and insight

Motion blur is becoming increasingly important in my pictures. I see it as one of the most important design tools.


Image change

How do I get more time into the picture? Long exposure and motion blur work very well. Copying several images into one another, photos that were taken one after the other with the camera, works too! Back then, without digital options, it wasn't so easy. But the slide projector helped.


Bedtime stories

The unstoppable rise

A series of images with no beginning and no end. You have to make up the story yourself.

The photos were taken using only the available light. There was no flash. Available light photography was very popular back then (1986). I used normal black and white film on the one hand and Polaroid black and white slide film on the other, which had just come onto the market at the time. You can recognize them by their grainy structure.


Self-staging objects Self-staging objects

How do you learn to fly?

1984 to 1986 was a very intense time in terms of photography. Experiment after experiment followed. My deck chair learned to fly. And it could do it perfectly! The bust had offspring, peppers could grow and a lot more. All via camera.

Patrick was a great help with the documentation. Unfortunately, the camera with the 8mm video cassettes has fallen victim to the ravages of time. As a result, it is no longer possible to play them.

Portraits of a deck chair

My deck chair learned to fly Everything is documented Some help is still needed when flying And the deck chair is already flying

I sometimes used Polaroid color film. You could develop these yourself using a device that resembled a miniature lyre organ with a hand crank. The result was color slides with extreme graininess. I also used traditional Polaroid SX-70 films.








Apple trade


A kind of encounter A kind of encounter

Friday, April 25, 1986

Lady Gaga was born just under a month earlier. Nobody noticed that at the time. Not yet. On the other hand, the day after was dramatic. Worldwide. The nuclear disaster occurred in reactor block 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Neither had any influence on my photography, at least not directly.

But then I had time and a few Polaroid slides. These had to be exposed! It was not just an encounter with a stubborn film material.

Spring 2021

A little later, in February and March 2021, I had some time again. It was lockdown. So: ideal for digitizing the photo archive. Old experiments resurfaced in boxes.

There they are now. Easily accessible in the digital photo archive. And when I look at the photos again, I have to say, the Pola-Slides have their irresistible charm! Even what they show...

I have put together some of these slides as a still video. The individual photos have not been edited, apart from small adjustments to the color temperature. I have not created any cutouts either.

This means that the perforation of the film is partially visible. The shortcomings and errors, the charm of Polariod slide films, are therefore very clearly visible. That is intentional!

Chapeau melon et ceinture blanc Chapeau melon et ceinture blanc

Chapeau melon et bottes de cuir with the original title The Avengers or in the somewhat bumpy German translation Mit Schirm, Scharm und Melone with John Steed and Emma Peel was THE television series between 1961 and 1969.

It was hardly surprising that this film series also inspired me to a photo series with hats. As selfies. Well - the word selfie didn't exist back then. But I held out anyway, even though triggering the camera was a bit awkward. Working in the darkroom helped, though. Also with the Polaroid SX-70, as experimental post-instant photography, so to speak.

This series was created in the summer of 1986.

Nude and movement Nude and movement

The pictures that I was able to take with Luc-André became one of the most beautiful nude series. It was taken in the studio. I completely abandoned the usual shooting situation with pure flash light and thereby gained the freedom to work very strongly with motion blur. I only used flash light as an additional tool.

Patrick assisted me in my work and gave me excellent support. He can also be seen in a few pictures.

This series was taken in the summer of 1986. I later developed this shooting technique with flash and continuous light even further.

Luc-André Luc-André


Luc-André - Nude and movement This photograph was too much for Facebook. It could have caused permanent psychological damage to poor souls. That cost me a month of banishment from Facebook! Luc-André - Nude and movement

PolaWorks PolaWorks

The fading of Sexy-Riders The fading of Sexy-Riders The fading of Sexy-Riders The fading of Sexy-Riders
Luc-André in motion Luc-André in motion Luc-André in motion Luc-André in motion Luc-André in motion Luc-André in motion


Ursus-Club Ursus-Club

The Ursus Club was founded in 1968, at a time when any allusion to the club's orientation was avoided as much as possible - had to be avoided. According to the statutes, it was about "cultivating camaraderie through meetings and lectures". Absolute secrecy was maintained towards the outside world, there were strict entry controls and the vice squad kept a watchful eye on the cellar entrance.

The Ursus Club was one of the most important cellars in Switzerland at the time, with a bar and disco for gay men. I met my husband Patrick there. A tenth of a second turned into 31 years.

I took photos with some members for the big party to mark the club's 25th anniversary.

The club was dissolved in 1997. The free space was no longer necessary, because the acceptance of gay men was becoming increasingly established in society.

In 2005, the partnership law was passed in a referendum in Switzerland. The fact that the population could vote on such an issue was a world first! The law came into force in 2007.

Photo series for the 25th anniversary of the Ursus Club with some members Photo series for the 25th anniversary of the Ursus Club with some members


Photo series for the 25th anniversary of the Ursus Club with some members Photo series for the 25th anniversary of the Ursus Club with some members Photo series for the 25th anniversary of the Ursus Club with some members Photo series for the 25th anniversary of the Ursus Club with some members Photo series for the 25th anniversary of the Ursus Club with some members

To Chapter 4:     Groundbreaking decisions To Chapter 2:     The beginning
Bild: Author Peter Andres
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