My photography investigates the following intersections: human activity and nature, and our perception of reality containing both what we imagine and what we actually see. Humans use complex mixtures of curiosity, power and carelessness to build, destroy and transform the natural landscape. At the moment of photographing, my underlying fascination is how objects of nature were formed, and at what cost, or on what whim. It is an experiment in seeing, an understanding that reality is a perception divided up into two parts: the landscape in front of us and the one in our minds. By photographing the objects of human activity and nature, both the physical and internal landscapes join, becoming one fashioned to our perception.
In the act of seeing, I am witnessing a collection of moments, a gradual accumulation of time that is then embodied by an object, person or place. In his essay titled “Italia ailati”, photographer Luigi Ghirri accurately describes these intersections: “Aspects of the real are grafted onto the ruins of the past - witnesses of their own theatricality. And these elements, that history has left out, seem to pop up like hallucinations or eccentric symbols. Yet in this scene, with all its coincidences and disconnections, we might make out elements of our own identity.” I use photography as a resource to map out these nuances of human activity and to document both its effect on the natural landscape and its reverberated effect on us.
Stefanie Rieder was born in Lancaster, Ohio in 1990. She grew up in southern Ohio and attended Ohio Wesleyan University, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. She moved to New York for and taught as a Teacher’s Assistant (TA) at the International Center of Photography in the Teen Academy department. She is now working towards a M.A. in Art Theory and History at the HFBK in Hamburg.