Tobias Zielony, ‘UFO’, 2017, Lia Rumma

About Tobias Zielony

Tobias Zielony’s photographs and films draw on a documentary tradition, uncovering lesser-known histories of sites and people. A representative of Germany at the 2015 Venice Biennale, the Berlin-based artist travels internationally to record marginalized groups. His interest in social failures and the shortcomings of Western governments spurred his sojourns to Manitoba, Naples, and the Southern California desert. In his series “Trona,” he photographs a derelict landscape that is home to an economically disadvantaged population, including many individuals who suffer from an addiction to crystal meth; his “Jenny Jenny” series features young women, mostly sex workers, in naturally lit nighttime environs. Central to Zielony’s process is an uncertainty about the ability of documentary film and images to establish truth. Although he uses natural light in his work, his framing suggests that no narrative is completely unbiased or without mediation.

Germany, b. 1973, Wuppertal, Germany, based in Berlin, Germany