Reiner Riedler
Altered States

Altered States - an exhibition project

Since 1995, I have been travelling from Vienna through Eastern Europe, ranging as far off as Russia. Just setting out, curiosity in hand, to discover these countries from the road was pretty much exactly my ideal concept of travel, as well as of photography. Following my finger on the map—after having done thorough research—and just letting things happen. In these works, people are the center of my field of view—fleeting little moments allowing that which is innately human to briefly shine through. These travels brought forth two books, one on Ukraine and one on Albania.

For this work as a long-term project, I was awarded with the "Salons d´Honneur" of Photo Levallois.

Travelling implies accepting changes of all kinds, and it is through these small differences in the everyday that we measure the distance covered. According to Reiner Riedler, the distance that prevails, that which nourishes and excites, takes place ona human (cultural, symbolic) rather than a geographic level. From the beginning of the 1990s, a thirst for travelling perceived as a door to an elsewhere, to the unknown, pushed him to take to the roads of central Europe, in the region of his native Austria. It was obviously the time of the fall of the Berlin wall, followed by the opening of the Eastern block ; it was also his early twenties’. One can easily imagine the strong attraction a young Austrian might feel towards these bordering countries whose culture is so different from the one he grew up in. Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Albania, Hungary, Bulgaria and then gradually, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and finally Russia, that other pole of influence on Austria throughout history, to the same extent as Western Europe.