Reiner Riedler
EXHIBITION - This Side of Paradise - Westlicht Museum/ Vienna, VR Tour

VR Tour by Artscope Vienna

A "chronicler of longing": In the course of his career spanning more than thirty years, Reiner Riedler has created a comprehensive body of work that has also received much international acclaim.

Anchored in classical documentary photography, the Vienna-based artist deals above all with the profoundly human pursuit of happiness. 

To do so, he prefers to seek out places that promise at least a short-term escape from everyday life: Artificial leisure worlds, which he has unmaskingly documented in his well-known series Fake Holidays, a Russian Circus, which stops off as a magical counter-image in the middle of a post-socialist prefabricated housing estate, the pleasure gardens of the swinger and fetish club scene, the scenes of modern event culture, the excesses of which he captures in his as yet unpublished long-term project This Side of Paradise, or the Viennese music clubs and dance cafés shut down due to the pandemic in his latest series End of the Night.

Even in his early works, he shows a special feeling for sensitive portraits. As shown, for example, in the series Homeless, Albania or Ukraine, some of which were still photographed in black and white, he manages to photograph people in precarious situations without ever exposing them. 

The show is rounded off by Riedler's conceptual groups of works, in which he not least questions the medium itself: for example, with the illuminated film reels from The Unseen Seen, he evokes emotions around cinema as a place of longing, and in the series Sweat, with the sweat imprints of human bodies, he refers to a basic principle of the photographic process.

Riedler's works have been exhibited at numerous photo festivals worldwide and at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, among other places. With THIS SIDE OF PARADISE, WestLicht is now presenting a show of the photographer's work for the first time, spanning a broad arc over his entire oeuvre.

THIS SIDE OF PARADISE is WestLicht's contribution to this year's Foto Wien (09 - 27 March). A special limited edition poster book published by WestLicht will accompany the exhibition.

Exhibition text by Westlicht

Mar 1, 2022