Taking the American West as her inspiration, Stefanie Schneider’s alluring female characters are placed within the vast, sun drenched landscapes of California.Â Often in wigs and colourful dress Schneiderâ€™s images evoke ideas of masquerade and play, however the intense gazes of Schneider’s female characters undermine their playful edge suggesting an unnerving or tragic quality beneath the surface of these glossy women. Collectively the works evoke love, pain, loneliness, alienation and re-discovery and can be seen to suggest a social commentary on America; pointing to the cracks beneath the surface of the glitz and glamour of Western American and the ’American Dream’.
Using expired Polaroid film which is then enlarged, Schneider’s images both emphasise the sun drenched light of California and embody the cinematographic quality of the films of Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone. Although carefully staged, Schneiderâ€™s works are reminiscent of forgotten memories, dreams and chance encounters. The blemishes of the flawed Polaroid film, further add to Schneiderâ€™s intent to represent an imperfect narrative, whereby the viewer is left questioning.
Schneider has commented on the relationship between her bleached out Californian dream-scapes and the disintegration of a faded Hollywood dream, "Hollywood is the quintessential dream factory, everyone goes there in search of their dreams, and many dreams are shattered there." As a European living in Los Angeles, her work highlights aspects of melancholy and loss that lie beneath the gloss and glamour of todayâ€™s America.
Stefanie Schneider was born in Germany in 1968. She received her MFA in Communication Design at the Folkwang Schule Essen, Germany. Currently Scheinder divides her time between her two studios in Berlin and Los Angeles. Her work has been shown at the Museum for Photography, Braunschweig, Museum fÃ¼r Kommunikation, Berlin, the Institut fÃ¼r Neue Medien, Frankfurt, the Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, Kunstverein Bielefeld, Museum fÃ¼r Moderne Kunst Passau, Les Rencontres d’Arles, Foto -Triennale Esslingen. Forthcoming exhibitions include the DZ Bank Collection, Kunstmuseum Cottbus, and Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover. Schneiderâ€™s works are represented in the public collections of DZ Bank, Frankfurt, Germany, Schmidt Bank, Regensburg, Germany, Sammlung Sander, Berlin, Germany, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, NÃ¼rnberg, Germany, and Impossible Polaroid Collection, Vienna, Austria, as well as being represented in prestigious private collections internationally.