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Photography: Polaroid, Color, C-type, Photo, Analog on Aluminium, Other.
Stevie's new Dress (Sidewinder) 2005, 125x156cm, Edition 1/5, analog C-Print, hand-printed by the artist on Fuji Crystal Archive paper, based on an expired Polaroid, signed on verso. Artist Inventory No. 3217.01, mounted on Aluminum with matte UV-Protection. This piece ships in a crate.
The series 'Sidewinder' was used by the Salzburger Festspiele 2008 for the main image campaign:
Exhibits • Galeries of the City of Salzburg • Galerie am Mozartplatz
July 16 – August 29, 2008
“For love is as strong as death” – this motto, taken from King Salomon’s Song of Songs, is at the programmatic center of the Salzburg Festival in 2008. The artist Stefanie Schneider, who lives in Berlin and Los Angeles, is spurred to her work by this irresolvable connection between love and death. The dramatic tension between Eros and Thanatos, which has inspired literature, art and theater for centuries, takes on an unsettling forcefulness in her photographic cycles.
The focal point of the exhibit is the photographic cycle Sidewinder, from which the image of the poster and annual program of this year’s Salzburg Festival are also taken. Sidewinder was created during a five-week sojourn by Stefanie Schneider in the remote town of 29 Palms. In the seclusion of the Californian desert, the artist – director and protagonist at the same time – conducts a risky experiment: the topic of her photographs is her encounter with a man she did not know previously. The photographs show the emotionally charged relationship between proximity and distance, intimacy and strangeness.
While the photographic narration follows a kind of script, it remains open to the viewer’s own associations and non-controllable processes. Here, Stefanie Schneider is working at the intersections of photography and film.
This body of works is complemented by photographs from her cycles Long Way Home, The Last Picture Show and 29 Palms, CA. The material, consisting of Polaroids past their sell-by dates, lends the photographs a picturesque, poetic quality through its defects, flaws and blank spaces. The motifs of the background are taken from Hollywood’s dream factory. The fragmentation and dissolution of the pictures, moving as they do between dream and intoxication, take up the clichés of the American Dream in order to question them and at the same time to illustrate their lasting power to fascinate.
"private history turned into an intimate mythology of elemental fantasies where reality is perceived through a veil of psychedelic memories and unconscious projections. such is a collection of passions and dreams, an uncanny diary of ephemeral narratives and mental intensities in Stefanie Schneider’s painterly photographs where subjectivity of an ontological doubt uses a poetics of pastische as a vehicle for an intertextual journey towards the truth and the authenticity of primary emotions. here time is immersed in a nostalgic suspense of oneiric dimension, a sort of ambiguous coma of silence and comfort, and open space embraces a psychotic landscape of solitude and accidental pleasure. fetishisized surface of extreme feelings gives a stage for an unsolicited promise of unconditional love and unlimited freedom, a promise framed by sensual tension between fulfilment and expectation."
Adam Budak, Kusthaus Graz, 2005
There’s blood on the dress that hangs in the Airstream trailer outside 29 palms. With the pistol in her sweat palm touching at his temple. Tell me what god’s gonna do for me and you now Stevie’s saying while Brother John Baptiste looks there across to where her cat seems weak and fed. All the good that comes to me from my believing man, I wanna hear about it said to me like that. Just the way you breathed it like you did 10 minutes ago when I was wrapped so well around your head. Silence then. A baby screams his mother out in the dessert night who wakes so late. Orion is a belt John Baptiste looks at through the torn-screen trailer window. There, touching his calf are vipers crawling now across her feet between his knees in front of her he kneeling for his life and they are full of venom with their broken fangs. A gun at head, where even his breath, so short, is preaching. He’s in a wheat field. John Baptiste. Counting birds on telephone wires hung low in afternoon where his mother’s call cannot now reach him. There she stands a weeping willow with the sidewinder underneath the trailer step a drop of blood upon her ankle with the bullet through its head. A scar follows sweat palm to wrist. Torn Stevie. Scars from the weapon to her toes an accidental act of God her father said. On Vaness at California 16 years ago but who’s counting 6 bullets for the barrel wait beside the temple. The long white shaft of tissue hemmed together gods tattoo along her ribs, hip to breast. She wants to fuck the preacher in her trailer with his bible on the alter front row Stevie asks forgiveness holy father from the car that shook her bones apart. John Baptiste asks to pray before she leads his temple head. For twenty minutes darkness hides the accidents in trailer shade her childish screams a preacher underneath her shimmer blue bled dress. The prayers he said beside the bed with mother for relatives with tumors, brand new bicycles, and rain. Stevie takes the whisky in her mouth to wash him out the sidewinder skids across her wounded foot of scars. John Baptiste asks the Lord to heal her in the new day that is breaking mouth of whisky spits it laughing father forgive the trigger finger for the viper he gives thanks And takes the barrel toward his lips through mumbling supplication kiss it Brother Stevie offers, please, but doesn’t wait him there. Copper penny Sunday School upon the tongue. And closed his eyes. A blur of her and mother. Other bodies. Women, gently crushing spirits. Prayers. His han under her weight in grams. The fingernail fang and fucks it. So slid the pull of metal out As god can answer. And into her mouth then. Settles. And wet the metal. He touches her, his finger. Viper like. And fuck it sore. Believers. Repentant whore forgiven preacher leaving town in that old ragtop down and left a rag dress bleeding in the Airstream soft, again.
Stefanie Schneider lives and works in the California High Desert and Berlin
Stefanie Schneider's scintillating situations take place in the American West. Situated on the verge of an elusive super-reality, her photographic sequences provide the ambience for loosely woven story lines and a cast of phantasmic characters.
Schneider works with the chemical mutations of expired Polaroid film stock. Chemical explosions of color spreading across the surfaces undermine the photograph's commitment to reality and induce her characters into trance-like dreamscapes. Like flickering sequences of old road movies Schneider's images seem to evaporate before conclusions can be made - their ephemeral reality manifesting in subtle gestures and mysterious motives. Schneider's images refuse to succumb to reality, they keep alive the confusions of dream, desire, fact, and fiction.
Stefanie Schneider received her MFA in Communication Design at the Folkwang Schule Essen, Germany. Her work has been shown at the Museum for Photography, Braunschweig, Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin, the Institut für Neue Medien, Frankfurt, the Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, Kunstverein Bielefeld, Museum für Moderne Kunst Passau, Les Rencontres d'Arles, Foto -Triennale Esslingen., Bombay Beach Biennale 2018, 2019.
Size: 61 W x 49 H x 0.1 in
Ships in a Crate
Artist featured in a collection
Showed at the The Other Art Fair
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