Situation #31, Fotomuseum Winterthur, 2016
About Oskar Schmidt
In his best-known body of work, “The American Series,” conceptual photographer Oskar Schmidt draws from the oeuvre of pioneering documentary photographer Walker Evans. As homage to Evans, Schmidt re-stages the backgrounds of his predecessor’s iconic images of 1930s and ’40s small-town life. The resulting black-and-white still lifes are devoid of Evans’s signature human subjects and engage themes of place and the passage of time. They also highlight issues of authenticity and manipulation related to photography and recent technological advancements. When Evans took his photographs, there was little room for editing, and accuracy wasn’t questioned; today, with editing tools accessible to anyone with an iPhone, there is less trust in the veracity of photographs. In other recent series, Schmidt questions the tradition of portraiture and tropes that define the photographic medium.
German, b. 1977, based in Berlin, Germany