Skip to main content

New Photography from Switzerland

Reale Fantasien / Real Fantasies
Neue Fotografie aus der Schweiz / New Photography from Switzerland
Urs Stahel
Thomas Seelig and Urs Stahel
Christophe Merian Verlag 

216 pages
230 x 300 mm
ISBN 9783856162740

Today, more than ever before, photography is a hybrid, a composite that mixes documentary and fiction, concrete and abstract, real and imaginary, analog and digital, visual pleasure with iconoclasm. As such, it reflects the fragmentation of personal experience, the dislocation of our world view and the loss of our sense of self. Found photography, banal photography, manipulated photography, photo-romans, staged photography, morphed photography, resilient documentary photography – this visual medium still has – despite the fact that the art market is now turning away from it – a boundless ability to question, analyse and reflect the world around us. Needless to say, the availability of so many different photographic approaches grants enormous freedom, but with it there must also be a structural awareness of the medium itself and of its context in the media in general, for only in the friction generated between application and reflection can true visual greatness, density and complexity be achieved. Swiss photography has developed exponentially in the past two decades.

How do young photographers and artists actually work with the medium of photography today? The Fotomuseum Winterthur wanted to know, how they were dealing with the growth of digitisation and with the dominating influence of the media in a world that is becoming increasingly abstract, and from which any direct perception is rapidly disappearing.

Our questions to curators, artists, university tutors and gallery owners throughout Switzerland brought many insights. At our request some two hundred and fifty artists submitted their portfolios, and after a lengthy process of elimination we eventually selected twenty-one artistic positions, which together reflect the richness and intensity of the submissions as a whole.

About the Authors

Urs Stahel is a freelance writer, curator, lecturer and consultant. … He is the co-founder of Fotomuseum Winterthur and was its director and curator from 1993 to 2013. He lives and works in Zurich.

Thomas Seelig is director of Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland. He studied Visual Communication at Fachhochschule Bielefeld, followed by a curatorial study programme at the Jan van Eyck Akademie in Maastricht.

About the Publisher

Christoph Merian Verlag is an independent Swiss publishing house that specialises in books on art, photography and architecture, as well as non-fiction books with a regional relevance. It began publishing in 1976.