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RENEGADES. San Francisco: Queer Life in the 1990s is an exhibition of the photographic works of Chloe Sherman at f3 – freiraum für fotografie in Berlin, that runs from 30 June to 3 September. The exhibition is accompanied by a book available from the gallery and online.

In the 1990s, San Francisco was the stronghold of queer life in the Western-influenced world. Young people, artists and free spirits flocked to the city to experiment with art, style, gender and identity, be free, and live independently of mainstream society. A style-defining subculture emerged: affordable rents paved the way for bars, clubs, tattoo stores, art galleries, cafes, bookstores, and women-owned businesses. A new wave of feminism allowed gender identities to be explored, and butch/femme culture peaked.

RENEGADES. San Francisco Chloe Sherman
RENEGADES. San Francisco (The Mission, 1996© Chloe Sherman)

Young photographer Chloe Sherman also enjoyed living in the West Coast metropolis famous for its openness. As an art student, she began photographing San Francisco’s lesbian and queer scene. Inspired by Del LaGrace Volcano’s photographs of the London lesbian scene, Sherman captured her own world of femmes, butches, punks and studs, filling an entire wall cabinet with 35mm negatives. With the nuanced eye of an insider, her photographs documented an evolving community that resolutely rebelled against prevailing cultural norms and developed its own unique rules for dealing with common gender ascriptions and social coexistence.

RENEGADES. San Francisco (In My Chevy Nova, Ace Driving, 1997© Chloe Sherman)
RENEGADES. San Francisco (Selfportrait © Chloe Sherman)

For 30 years, the photographs of that period were stored and forgotten in the photographer’s archive. RENEGADES. San Francisco: Queer Life in the 1990s presents outstanding and historically significant photographs for the first time to an audience outside the USA. Chloe Sherman’s exhibition captures the rebellious spirit of the era and candidly portrays a forward-thinking era.

Opening: June 29, 2023, 7 pm in the artist’s presence.

f3 – freiraum für fotografie Waldemarstraße 17 . 10179 Berlin Opening times: Wed – Sun, 1 – 7 pm. Admission: 5 € . reduced 3 €


RENEGADES. San Francisco (Picnic near Mission Dolores, 1996© Chloe Sherman)
RENEGADES. San Francisco (Kindred Spirits, 1994© Chloe Sherman)
RENEGADES. San Francisco (New Years Eve at Buca, Tanya and Lisa, 1998© Chloe Sherman)
RENEGADES. San Francisco (Anna Joy Post Surgery at Home, 1997© Chloe Sherman)
RENEGADES. San Francisco (Little Marion, 1998© Chloe Sherman)
RENEGADES. San Francisco (The Heist, 1996© Chloe Sherman)

PUBLICATION: RENEGADES San Fransisco: The 1990s 

Chloe Sherman


The exhibition is accompanied by a book published by Hatje Cantz. The publication is available at f³– freiraum für fotografie.Chloe Sherman | RENEGADES. San Francisco: The 1990sNadine Barth, Katharina Mouratidi (eds.), Text(s): Lynn Breedlove, Catherine Opie, Anna Joy Springer. Design: Julia Wagner, grafikanstalt.2023, English. 128 pages, 90 images, Hardcover 26×28 cm, 40 €. ISBN 978-3-7757-5517-7


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