Georg Aerni: Silent Transition – Fotostiftung Schweiz, Switzerland
11 Jun — 16 Oct 2022
Born in 1959 in Winterthur, Georg Aerni has, in parallel to his work as an architectural photographer, produced an artistic oeuvre: a sensitive inventory of urban spaces and surprising interfaces between culture and nature. Alongside extensive themed essays, for instance on the rampantly spreading greenhouses in Southern Spain or the wildly sprawling residential quarters in Cairo, he has created many images that tell of change and decay, of coming into being and ceasing to be. Aerni is not interested in perfect facades, but in new and old ruins, improvised dwellings, or installations that have become useless. He does not pay attention to picturesque landscapes, but to gnarled growths on a tree trunk, washed-up driftwood, or barren rock faces marked by erosion.
His visual explorations also prove to be an attempt to visualise the passing of time. Unobtrusively, sometimes with an ironic undertone, he asks questions about the handling of resources or the sustainability of seemingly stable constructions. His precise documentary approach coalesces with the surreal poetry and beauty of the random. This photographer thus generates a sense of wonder without glorifying the circumstances.
The Fotostiftung Schweiz exhibition presents a selection of quite recent works, produced since the comprehensive publication Sites & Signs (2011).
A monograph titled Silent Transition, edited by Peter Pfrunder and Nadine Olonetzky, is being released by publisher Scheidegger & Spiess.