Raphael Hefti, ‘From the series "Subtraction as Addition"’, RaebervonStenglin

Image rights: Courtesy: RaebervonStenglin, Zürich

About Raphael Hefti

Raphael Hefti is an alchemist of sorts, seeking to enact dramatic transformations on whatever material he’s chosen to work with on a given day. He originally worked in electronics, before moving on to study industrial design, photography, and art, and he credits his fascination with mechanics and scientific processes—and what happens when they go awry—to long hours spent experimenting in the workshop. Hefti’s material transformations have included a series of mirrors made from deliberately non-reflective glass, industrial steel exposed to such harsh temperatures that it shatters, and his “Lycopodium” photograms that capture the light emitted by fiery explosions of plant spores. “For me the idea of performance is related intimately to the idea of production,” Hefti says. “Often the situation I work in has its own sense of choreography—from the dunes of a beach to the machinery of a factory floor.”

Swiss, b. 1978, Biel, Switzerland, based in Zurich, Switzerland