22.01. - 15.04.2012


„No new photographs until the old ones have been used up“ – this apodictic statement, which Joachim Schmid uttered already in 1989 associated with the 150th anniversary of photography, reflects his artistic credo: the distinctive feature of his creativity does not affect the production of photographs but searching, selecting and composing them.

Schmid acts similar to a curator by using already existing pictures and arranging them in new contexts to create new images. The new environment opens up new and ingenious angles of view on already existing, common and familiar pictures.

In his early works he employed, amongst others torn photographs, discarded postcards or negatives which he had found in various places. After an advertisement Schmid had published in the newspaper mentioning the creation of the „First General Collection of Used Photographs“ in 1990 people even sent thousands of undesired photographs to him instead of tossing them away.

Today Joachim Schmid uses digital screenshots which he discovers in search engines or web portals on the internet. Essential topics are a critical examination of the traditional role of photograhy and how it tries to collect individual and collective memories. Additionally, he observes and analyses visually the consequences of digital image-archives, as well as the impact on photography today as an essential tool of digital-social networking and visual abundance.

Although he is working with found material and his series are characterized by their heterogeneity, Schmid’s ouevre does paradoxically bear a unique and distinctive signature.  With regard to content, his aethetically enriching works convince the audience through charming intelligence and consideration.

In the exhibition “Bilderbuch” (Picture Book) ZEPHYR presents a substantial retrospective of Joachim Schmid's oeuvre, showing his major series of the last 10 years combined with numerous individual works of the past, which will be on display for the first time.

Berlin-based artist Joachim Schmid studied Visual Communication at Fachhochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd and Hochschule der Künste Berlin. His works have been exhibited amongst others in the Australian Centre for Photography Sydney, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Photographers’ Gallery London, Centre National de la Photographie Paris, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Gropius-Bau Berlin, Berlinische Galerie Berlin, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museo de arte contemporánea de Vigo or Museum Folkwang Essen.

The exhibition catalogue is available at our shop. Order here

Joachim Schmid:

return to archive

ZEPHYR - Raum für Fotografie / C4.9 / 68159 Mannheim
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm