Inside this issue
René Algesheimer is a photographic artist and writer who professionally works as a researcher and professor at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
If the sum of the whole can be greater than its parts, then René Algesheimer has plenty to draw on, with a skill set that encompasses music and mathematics, a highly relevant contemporary specialism, and considerable passion for both the visual arts and written word. Working almost exclusively on projects, René tends – contrary to what we are encouraged to do by social media – to hold these back and allow them, and himself, the time needed to fully develop. As a consequence, our interview gives you a taste of some work that is not yet on his website but which René has put forward to illustrate his answers. We also link to some of the work that Rene refers to, which is on his website but not illustrated here, and which exemplifies the different approaches that he takes in developing projects.
Would you like to start by telling readers a little about yourself – where you grew up and what your early interests were? You seem to have an interesting background, studying music in parallel with mathematics and now working with social structures and marketing.
I was born and raised in Bingen in, Germany. In my childhood, I spent a lot of time at the River Rhein, in a big nature reserve, and enjoyed going exploring with my friends. We have there a lot of old willows, beautiful big poplars and many orchards that let me experience the character of trees. I grew up very sheltered in a religious family, where togetherness, harmony, gratitude, and common work were very important. My grandfather owned orchards, and we were regularly outside after school, in the fresh air, in the fields cutting trees, harvesting apples, pears, cherries, plums, or whatever was in season. We told each other stories, discussed topics that interested us, and ate our breakfast, lunch, or dinner outside in the fields after the work was done. It was an almost perfect childhood for me in a wonderful family. Almost like in “Bullerbü” books by Astrid Lindgren. I have drawn much in my life from this time. First and foremost, humility; gratitude; a great deal of love for the world, its creatures and nature; hope; creativity; and resilience.