What is left of this mythic neighbourhood in Hamburg? The photographer Henning Retzlaff and the author Frauke Tuttlies have taken a stroll on the “sinners’ mile” where for three years they carried out research and were allowed to look behind the scenes. And so, for once, this book of photographs does not show the residents of Pauli; it shows the people who have made the district into what it is today. Hotel, bar and brothel owners, prostitutes, dancers and artists who play an active part in the (re)creation of St. Pauli and who give the district its typical atmosphere.
Although Henning Retzlaff photographed his subjects at their “favourite places” – at the place they most associate with St. Pauli – his work totally focuses on the portrait itself; nothing should distract us, not even colour. Frauke Tuttlies’ texts seem “colourful” in comparison. Underneath their shiny surface, they are ambiguous. They sneak in the back door, ask critical questions and encourage us to let our own imagination get involved.
In a bizarre mixture of art, poetry, erotic photography and documentation, the series of portraits presented by Henning Retzlaff and Frauke Tuttlies in this book shows a new face of a well-known neighbourhood.