The Berlin filmmaker and photographer Johanna Jackie Baier is a chronicler of darkness. If the cliché of sex & drugs & rock'n'roll fits anywhere, it's here: Johanna Jackie Baier shows sexuality, nightlife, party people and happenings with an intensity and from a proximity that is only possible for an insider. As a transsexual, Baier has an approach to social margins and taboo zones that goes far beyond the conventions of classic documentary photography. Fittingly, her photographic gesture is also passionately expressive, with coarse grain, abysmal blacks and analogue street credibility - a sister in the spirit of Ed van der Elsken, but in the 21st century.
In conversation with Andreas Langen, DFA member Johanna Jackie Baier talks about love as the elixir of life, sex workers with an affinity for cameras, memory beyond death and gender issues as questions of power. All this is based on the experience of someone who had to fight for sexual self-determination against very tough odds. "On the street you can be happy if no one beats you to death. And in the company they told me: 'You used to be a talented young director. Now you're just a woman.'"