Sebastian Stadler, born in St. Gallen in 1988, now lives in Zurich where he works as a freelance photographer and artist. At the core of his artistic work based on photography and video stand questions such as photography’s claim to reality, the value of images in the age of visual digital overflow, and how these developments have changed our way of perception. Stadler goes about this by observing his immediate surroundings, changing his perspective all the time, not least because, for him, photography is all about “challenging the way we commonly view our world.” Since getting his degree from the Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (2011), Stadler has created a number of photo series, books and videos which have been shown in solo and group exhibitions, most recently at the PhotoforumPasquArt in Bienne (2015). Of late, the artist, who received a Swiss Award in 2013, has turned his attention to new media, one example being the work We see the whole picture (2015). In this project the artist no longer operates the camera himself. With the help of a special computer program Stadler collected a multitude of surveillance clips and photos shot by the Finnish Transport Authority, showing webcam images of remote roads in far-off areas. Here the artistic achievement lies in the work of selecting and re-contextualizing the image material: from the digital evidence of occasional incidences Stadler creates pictorial worlds that lend the ephemeral a new presence in the real world.
By awarding a promotion grant of CHF 10 000 the Foundation Board acknowledges an artistic position that looks into the aesthetic, cultural, and media implications of the flood of images we are subjected to every day.