Jochen Stierberger (*1987) graduated with a B.Sc. in Geography in 2012 and obtained his Diploma in Arts in 2019. He lives and works between Beijing and Frankfurt.

His photographic work centers on what is not apparently visible. Using a conceptual approach, he creates a reduced pictorial language adapted to each particular topic, always oscillating between documentation and conscious staging. In this way, Stierberger‘s artistic works dissipate the viewer’s usual form of perception and he works to complement existing voids with his own associations.

Stierberger’s interest in the subtle manifests itself in his choice of subjects. His early work deals with contemporary marginal social positions and subcultures. In works such as Preppare (2015) or Gamechanger (2010-2018), he consciously focuses on parts or groupings of modern societies that in everyday life remain mostly invisible to outsiders or are perceived as problematic. Although his portraits are often staged, they negate well-known photographic stereotypes.

This creates artistic works that are to be understood as subtle, ironic or intimate comments, and lead conventional perceptions to absurdity. The dichotomy between reality and fiction, contemporary documentation and classic pictorial language, and the past and present, are skillfully continued in his current work. Thus, photography in Stierberger‘s work is understood not only as a medium that intends to document a reality, but as one that subtly challenges the viewer to perceive a previously hidden, independent reality.

Annette Abel