• Reale Fantasien / Real Fantasies

Urs Stahel, Thomas Seelig (ed.)

Reale Fantasien / Real Fantasies
Neue Fotografie aus der Schweiz / New Photography from Switzerland

March 2006, 216 pages, 120 mainly colour illustrations, softcover, 23 x 30 cm, German/English
ISBN 978-3-85616-274-0

Reale Fantasien / Real Fantasies

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.

Ein Buch, das auf Grund seiner rudum schönen Machart zum Fetisch taugt. (Tages-Anzeiger, 8.3.06)

Es gelingt dem Buch, die Gratwanderung der Fotografie zwischen abgebildeter Wirklichkeit und fantastischer Illusion zu zeichnen. (Artinvestor, April 2006)