In his work, Philipp Schaerer focuses on the free application of digital image processing. The topic of deception features prominently in his creations. These are built image worlds that incorporate references, associations and role models and address the increasing blurring of the boundaries between the world of digital images and that of material objects.
Schaerer’s primary focus is the generation and manipulation of image data. Within this field of activity, he avails himself of a broad repository of imaging techniques and visual strategies. Whether this involves the creation of abstract image compositions by means of sampling digital image components and elements from 3D model libraries or whether Schaerer rather invents and builds photorealistic images designed by means of image synthesis or digital image editing from the ground up, his works generally exploit the freedom offered by two-dimensional imaging techniques. These are image constructions with their own internal logic. Image constructions that superficially follow the visual rules of photography only to flout them; they display an abstract two-dimensionality or break the real, inherent, interactive, physical laws of the object depicted in the photographs. His works – often composed in series or arranged as isolated depictions of fictitious single objects across a larger sequence of images – self-consciously and playfully engage with methods of a nearly encyclopedic capture of reality and with object-related typological photography. These parallels are merely of a formal nature. What the images do, far more, is test our perceptive capacities. They open our eyes to our own insecurity and uncertainty regarding the difference between an image and the pictorial representation of reality and make us ever more aware that in our time these boundaries are themselves increasingly becoming obscured.
The exhibition features a selection of Philipp Schaerer’s works. It includes both better-known object-depicting series and some of his more abstract projects. Some of the work is directly concerned with the generation and manipulation of image data, while other images investigates the tension between surface, body, and pictorial space, taking into account recent imaging methods. In addition, the second extended edition of the monograph BILDBAUTEN will be presented on the occasion of the exhibition’s opening:
BILDBAUTEN – PHILIPP SCHAERER
Edited by Reto Geiser with contributions by Nathalie Herschdorfer, Martino Stierli, and Philip Ursprung
Standpunkte, Basel 2016 (expanded English edition), 96 pages, 32 color images, hardcover, 210 x 280 mm, ISBN 978-3-9524577-0-2, 40 CHF/EUR/USD