Linda von Tennstaedt, 1998

Annette Frick, Linda von Tennstaedt, 1998, Hand printed by the artist on silver gelatin Baryta paper, 40 × 30 cm, 54 × 44.5 × 3 cm (framed)


Annette Frick photographed the drag performer Linda von Tennstaedt in vintage-inspired make-up and a wig at the Columbiahalle during the annual Wigstöckel party in 1998. Wigstöckel, a play on the words “Woodstock” and “Stöckel” (meaning in ‘stiletto’ in German), is the German rendition of the internationally acclaimed drag queen Lady Bunny’s annual outdoor drag festival Wigstock.

In Frick’s photograph, Von Tennstaedt is seen with fake flowers clipped in a teased beehive wig. Her distinct dramatic eyeliner and pale foundation has been a recognizable feature in Von Tennstaedt’s drag transformation since the early 90s, when she began competing in pageant competitions like the BKA Luftschloß’s Miss CSD show. To this day, she is best known for her lip syncing performances to Nina Hagen’s 1991 hit song Du hast den Farbfilm Vergessen (You forgot to bring the color film), which is enhanced by the drag queen’s own resemblance to the punk musician. Having shot the image in black and white, like much of her photography, Frick recalls as a primary factor the lack of access to quality color film rolls and consequently the noticeable lack of color photography in the GDR.

This vintage print was handprinted by the artist on silver gelatin Baryta paper at the time the photo was originally shot.