* 1968 in Cuxhaven, DE
lives and works in Berlin
Stefanie Schneider’s photographs recall situations that alternate between daydreams and nocturnal dreams. All of the scenes she photographs with Polaroid cameras seem surreally transported. The people she photographs are as intangible as the motifs of plot and the narrative strands of her photographic series.
The atmospheric disturbances in the work of Stefanie Schneider are the result of a narrative arrangement that forces the viewer between souvenir images and gaps in memory. At the same time, she sets store by the inherent dynamic of material that can be calculated but remains largely uncontrollable: the expiration date of the Polaroid film she uses has been greatly exceeded; the photochemical self-developing process shows clear traces of decay.
This dysfunction is an essential component of Stefanie Schneider’s works. The result is a magical realism, a vortex of shimmering scenes, the fata morgana of a road movie, of an act of violence, or of a tragic surrendering of identity. It is no coincidence that Stefanie Schneider, who lived in Los Angeles for several years, makes use of famous movies and genres, only to rescue them from our habits of seeing in the same breath. Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas comes to mind, as do Thelma and Louise and the classic Western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
The aesthetic of Stefanie Schneider’s photographs has since become a point of reference for other artists, such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Stefanie Schneider recently photographed the American pop star Cyndi Lauper for her new album.