Cortis & Sonderegger

Salvador Rierga

In our photo series Icons, we have been recreating icons of photographic history as three- dimensional dioramas in our studio since 2013. The models are then photographed. This results in images that seem to resemble the originals to a hair’s breadth.

The seamless illusion is immediately undermined, however, by bringing the studio setting and the traces of the working process into the picture. Scenes that have inscribed themselves deeply in the collective memory – the burning Twin Towers, Robert Capa’s falling militiaman in the Spanish Civil War, or Stuart Franklin’s shot of the “Tank Man” from Tian’anmen Square, which won a World Press Photo Award in 1990 – rise up among tripods, soft boxes, Stanley knives, and the remains of model kits.

Icons is at once a homage to photographic history, a humorous appropriation of its pillar saints, and – in the double staging of motif and studio situation – a reflection on the ways in which the medium functions. In times when alternative facts are handled in too many places, our images encourage reflection on the fragile truth of photography, the relationship between authenticity and construction, and the importance of context and perspective.

Blanca Berlin

Jojakim Cortis, born in 1978 in Germany, and Adrian Sonderegger, born in 1980 in Switzerland, met at the Zurich University of Arts in Switzerland. Both studied photography, their collaboration began during their classes and continues to this day.

Since graduation in 2006, they have worked as freelance photographers and teachers for various art schools. His photographs have been exhibited in numerous exhibitions abroad, including the “Images” festival in Vevey, the Folkwang Museum in Essen, the Fotostiftung Schweiz and the C/O Berlin, as well as festivals in Switzerland, France, Poland, Sweden and China. His book “Double Take” was published in 2018 in English by Thames & Hudson in Britain and the United States, in German by Lars Müller Publisher and in Japanese by Seigensha.