Freedom makes Work. (Freiheit macht Arbeit.) 1998
"Freedom makes Work" is the name of an unusual exhibition by the Leipziger photographer Bertram Kober. He photographed in the club "Kirschberghaus" in Leipzig's neighborhood Gruenau for two years. In addition, he let the teenagers take photos in a studio that he set up. The result will start some controversial discussions. The pictures will cause some biased viewers to accuse Kober of trivializing right wing radicalism. For the teenagers' pictures break with our expectations and question the readily recalled pictures that the public have in their heads. Kober forces us to rethink how we deal with right wing "urchins". Are they just poor, insecure, and misguided adolescents? Or are they, at least in their thoughts, already the violent Neonazis that make Eastern German cities into danger zones, especially for foreigners? Kober doesn't serve up any answers on a silver tray. The pictures leave a lot more room for interpretation. One series of photos shows playful teenagers that are obviously having fun making provocative poses. In others, open aggressiveness is expressed.
Insecurity – could be the title of the second part of the show that shows photos, Kober took himself. As different as the individual teenagers may be, on thing is expressed in almost all of their faces – confusion and repressed fear. This should be more unsettling than one or another boy in a provocative "Sieg-Heil-pose". For fear and insecurity are the main incitements for eruptive aggression. If you want, you can see in Bertram Kober's pictures, that a world has disappeared for these teenagers and they haven't found another one worth living in.
Ganz andere Bilder. In: Leipziger Volkszeitung / Kultur from 11 Sept. 1998. Page 20