Reiner Riedler


The work of this Austrian photographer was inspired by a personal experience that marked him deeply. When his son was born he had to spend a night in the intensive care unit for premature babies, surrounded by machines designed to keep him alive. In those hours of anguish, Riedler reflected on the paradox of these inanimate devices that preserve life although they don’t understand it. Hence his fascination for portraying kidney dialysis machines, mechanical ventilation equipment and even artificial organs. Some of the objects portrayed by Riedler are intimidating because of their scientific coldness while others have been anthropomorphized until they resemble friendly humanoids. In many cases, they are cameras, capable of travelling to inaccessible places without the support of technological devices and of revealing hidden secrets of the human body. His photobook Will, which received an award in the 2016 edition of Paris Photo, captures the human will to transcend the limits of our own nature to reach immortality. It is an exercise in science fiction which is about to become reality, as robots occupy more and more space in our lives.

Born in Gmunden, Austria, in 1968. He went to Vienna with the intention of studying Ethnology but ended up attending the College of Photography. He also took Master Studies of Image Sciences at the Danube University of Krems. The main focus of his documentary work is to challenge our value systems. As a traveller he visits the periphery of our habitats, always searching for the fragile beauty of human existence with its desires and abysses. His work has been shown in festivals, galleries and museums in Germany, the Neederlands, India, Poland, France, Lithuania, the United States, and has been published in media such as the National Geopgraphic, Stern, The New York Times, British Journal of Photography, Newsweek Japan WIRED, Monopol Fortune, Le Monde and Der Spiegel. He has been working for newspapers and magazines and has published eight books. In 2017 he co-founded the Independent Photobook Label Reflektor, and he is a member of Künstlerhaus/ Vienna.

Open air exhibition
Plaza San Nikolas