Reiner Riedler
Pleasure Gardens

Taking photographs in locations where sexual practices take place is not always a simple matter: I had to unequivocally distance myself from the role of the voyeur—being in places where photography is equated with pornography.

"Reiner Riedler photographs fake realities. He finds them all over the world, for example, in artificial holiday destinations such as fake beaches, indoor ski slopes and theme parks. For his project "Pleasure Gardens", he spent time in swingers and fetish clubs, where the artificial environment also creates a kind of glaring hyperreality. The artificial beach serves to evoke a holiday feeling, while the backdrops of the swingers' and fetish clubs are intended to generate lust. The parallels in the logic of purpose cannot be denied.

However, taking photographs in places where sexuality is practised creates problems. Clarifying the image rights is not the trickiest part. The photographer distances himself unequivocally from the role of voyeur - in places where photography is equated with pornography. On the one hand, Riedler had to keep his distance from the subject, on the other hand he had to learn to understand the people involved in order to make their preference for such places comprehensible in the pictures. Riedler does not expose the people in the photos, nor does he make fun of the clubs' décor. His works demonstrate a precise knowledge of the surroundings, but they refrain from judgement."

Robert Treichler