He took us for a long walk. Review of “Ricochet” by Rudolf Steiner

Some photos are like essays about which a lot of others can be written. Others are more like dance, equally important, but on a different level. It’s hard to build theories about them because what matters is what you feel when you perceive them. For me, „Ricochet” by Rudolf Steiner turned out to be such a photobook.

Ricochet is a project by a Swiss artist that he has been working on for nearly six years. The book is composed as a casual visual conversation, full of fun with the rhythm that the photobook medium offers. The vast majority of images are images of nature, usually free, autonomous, and depicted with all its dignity. The human world is only an addition, a shortstop, and although indispensable, we see it as fragile.

The book begins as befits a real journey into the interior. We break through blurred shots of the sky in all its shades, various landscape elements, ending with a total set. Then our “voyeurism” goes one step further as if we decided to come closer and closer. We look into empty, forgotten spaces, but also those that live without our participation. This trip is linked by a letter on the back of the book describing the impressions of the journey and the questions that arise as a result of it. The photography technique cannot be omitted here. The alpha dog in Ricochet is a robot-camera, originally designed for photographing panoramic shots.

It was an analog-to-digital process. I recorded everything with a digital camera attached to the robot, but I did not have this control, which is characteristic for a digital image, in its place I was accompanied by the secret of working with photosensitive material, and this was what interested me.
The language of optics seen in Ricochet is not limited to technology. From the entire collection of photographs, one more property emerges – the absurdity of seeing. The specific photographs reflect all the moods of the human eye. Here we have clearly romantic landscape shots, even transcendental ones. There are moments where we feel that something has fallen into our eye, absolutely distorting everything in front of us. An interesting, very peculiar treatment is the side effects of the chosen technique, exposed by the photographer, looking like something that could be called pixel afterimages.

Steiner takes us on his subjective walk through reality, overworked and known from the inside out. However, it surprises us with its diversity, giving the impression that by going outside you enter uncharted land.

Author: Rudolf Steiner
Title: Ricochet
Place of publication: Berlin
Date of publication: March 2020
Author of photographs and sculptures: Rudolf Steiner
Author of the text: Rudolf Steiner
Language: English
Graphic design: Barbara Ehrbar, Rudolf Steiner
Publisher: Vexer Verlag
Number of pages: 40
Format: 24x33 cm
Binding: hardcover
Printing technique: offset
Circulation: 750
ISBN: 9783907112236