R. Flick Collection (2017)

The R. Flick Collection is a sequel of the 1989 project Meisterwerke der Fotokunst. The collection is drawn on the ever-expanding pool of a popular photo hosting site and focuses on unknown works by award-winning photographers posted on that site.
Photographs by Robert Adams, Bernd und Hilla Becher, Richard Billingham, Sophie Calle, Rineke Dijkstra, William Eggleston, Joan Fontcuberta, Lee Friedlander, Anna Gaskell, Jim Goldberg, David Goldblatt, Nan Goldin, Paul Graham, Andreas Gursky, Cindy Sherman, Joel Sternfeld, John Stezaker, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jürgen Teller, Jeff Wall.
Twenty matted pigment ink prints (20 x 25 cm each) and a brochure with background information. Archival box, 22 x 27 x 6 cm, edition of 5 copies + 2 AP, numbered and signed.

Vom Gehen (2017)

In late autumn 1974, Werner Herzog walked from Munich to Paris. In the logbook of his journey he mentioned the village I grew up in and that I had left a few months before he passed through it. His three words in Vom Gehen im Eis / Of Walking in Ice are possibly the only literary mention of the village. Forty-two years later I repeated one leg of Werner Herzog’s walk, from Burgfelden to Dotternhausen. Just like him, I passed through the village I grew up in without stopping. Vom Gehen is my report of the walk.
Sixteen pigment ink prints, 30 x 40 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP

The Artist’s Model (2016)

Finding a nude photograph was not so easy half a century ago. But for interested parties there were books and magazines with photographic studies of “artists’ models”. Art was one legitimate pretext for looking at nudes. The pertinent publications provided plenty of material to look at. Line and Form was one of them. In a second-hand book market I found a copy of this magazine from the early 1960s. One of its previous owners was apparently not inspired by the photographs. That person’s interventions are the resource of my work.
Eight pigment ink prints, 40 x 26.5 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP

Viaggio in Italia (2015)

A notional journey through Italy based on maps, memory, and postcards. The images are derived from postcards collected during various trips through Italy between 1989 and 2015.
An artist book of the same name was published by P420 Arte Contemporanea on the occasion of an exhibition in Bologna in 2015.
Eight pigment ink prints, 40 x 30 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP

Souvenirs (2010)

Photographs of spoons collected over twenty-five years of traveling.
Courtesy of Air France · British Airways · British Midland Airways · Café de Flore, Paris · Café New York, Budapest · Continental Airlines · Delta Air Lines · Iberia · KLM · KLM UK · Lufthansa · Mitropa · Museum of Modern Art, New York · Nola’s in Tiergarten, Berlin · Olympic Airlines · Orbis Grand Hotel, Łódź · Radisson Béke Hotel, Budapest · Savoy Hotel, Luxor · Schlosshotel im Grunewald, Berlin · Swissair · TAP Air Portugal · Tate Modern, London · Türk Hava Yollari · Varig (1983 – 2008).
Thirty-two c-prints, 13 x 18 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP

Land’s End (2013)

A series of street views taken in Silicon Valley in the vicinity of new technology companies. The photos show locations where Google Street View comes to its limits and the non-accessible spaces controlled by corporations or governmental agencies begin.
Pigment ink prints, 20 x 15 cm on 25 x 20 cm paper, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

New Topography (2013)

A series of real estate photographs in the aftermath of the global financial crisis when signs advertising foreclosure auctions became a significant topographical feature in vast parts of the USA.
Pigment ink prints, 20 x 15 cm on 25 x 20 cm paper, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

X Marks the Spot (2013)

Dallas, Texas, Dealey Plaza. The site where John F. Kennedy was assassinated is a major tourist magnet. White Xes on the pavement mark the spots where the president was fatally shot – in the middle of a freeway on-ramp. Visitors often wait for a gap in traffic, hurry to one of the Xes, get their photos taken and leave the road before the next cars arrive. A webcam is positioned in a window on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository, the site where, on November 22, 1963, an assassin allegedly fired the shots that killed Kennedy as the presidential motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza. The camera’s perspective exactly matches that of the assassin: it now shoots the tourists shooting their own memorial photos, and we can watch this in real time.
Twenty-one pigment ink prints, 18 x 24 cm on 24 x 30 cm paper each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP


^ Hollybush Gardens, London November 2016

Estrelas amadas (2013)

The series Estrelas amadas – Beloved Stars – is based on black and white photographs of movie stars found in a Portuguese magazine from the late 1950s. The former owner of the magazine, a young woman from Lisbon, coloured the lips of all her beloved stars in the brightest red, presumably soon after she acquired the magazine and decades before her copy ended up in a flea market.
Twelve pigment ink prints, 24 x 30 cm each, and one print 60 x 100 cm, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Other People’s Photographs (2008–2011)

Assembled between 2008 and 2011, this series of ninety-six print-on-demand books explores the themes presented by modern everyday, amateur photo­graphers. Images found on photo sharing sites such as Flickr have been gathered and ordered in a way to form a library of contemporary vernacular photography in the age of digital technology and online photo hosting. Each book is comprised of images that focus on a specific photo­graphic event or idea, the grouping of photographs revealing recurring patterns in modern popular photography. The approach is encyclopedic, and the number of volumes is virtually endless but arbitrarily limited. The selection of themes is neither systematic nor does it follow any established criteria — the project’s structure mirrors the multifaceted, contradictory and chaotic practice of modern photography itself, based exclusively on the motto “You can observe a lot by watching.”
The series Other People‘s Photographs includes these titles: Airline Meals · Airports · Another Self · Apparel · At Work · Bags · Big Fish · Bird’s Eyes · Black Bulls · Blue · Bread · Buddies · Cash · Cheques · Cleavage · Coffee · Collections · Colour · Commodities · Contents · Currywurst · Damage · Digits · Documents · Dogs · Drinks · Encounters · Evidence · Eyes · Faces in Holes · Fauna · Feet · First Shots · Fish · Flashing · Food · Fridge Doors · Gathered Together · Gender · Geology · Hands · Happy Birthday · Hotel Rooms · Images · Impact · In Motion · Indexes · Information · Interaction · Kisses for Me · Lego · Looking · Maps · Mickey · Models · More Things · Mugshots · News · Nothing Wrong · November 5th, 2008 · Objects in Mirror · On the Road · Parking Lots · Pictures · Pizza · Plush · Portraits · Postcards · Purple · Pyramids · Real Estate · Red · Room with a View · Self · Sex · Shadow · Shirts · Shoes · Silvercup · Sites · Size Matters · Space-Time · Statues · Sunset · Surface · Targets · Television · The Other Picture · The Picture · Things · Trophies · Tropic of Capricorn · Various Accidents · Wanted · Writings · You Are Here.
2008–2011
print on demand, colour
18 x 18 cm, 36 pages each
hardcover with dust jacket
open edition, numbered and signed
price on application
email orders only
see also the 2 volume paperback version

View more photos

Authentic Replica (2012)




The series Authentic Replica is based on a collection of Madonna Inn postcards found in 1994. A selection of these postcards became part of Archiv. Another selection was published in bookform as Borrowed / Replicated in 2012 as a part of the ABCED collection.
Twelve pigment ink prints, 30 x 40 cm on 40 x 50 cm paper, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Steuerfreie Einkünfte (2011–)

Steuerfreie Einkünfte (tax-free income) grew directly out of the long-time project Bilder von der Straße. Looking out for abandonded photographs in the streets, it was inevitable that I found other things, too, such as money. Usually, this would be in the form of small coins but occasionally, I would find a banknote. For many years I simply picked all these up and put them in my wallet. In 2011, I began to make annual inventories of the found money after an interesting dispute with the fiscal authorities about tax-deductible expenses and the character of some of my works such as Bilder von der Straße.
The project’s accounting is public. A complete report will be published in book form when the ten-year project is completed.

Tax-free income accumulated in
2011: CAD 0.25 + DEM 0.01 + EUR 0.97 + GBP 0.06 + USD 0.20 – Total: EUR 1.37
2012: CAD 0.01 + CHF 1.00 + EUR 4.49 + PLN 0.04 + USD 1.67 – Total: EUR 6.34
2013: EUR 19.30 + GBP 0.28 + MAD 5.00 + PLN 2.02 + USD 0.42 $ – Total: EUR 20.87
2014: CHF 0.05 + DKK 1.00 + EUR 23.63 + GBP 0.01 + MXN 0.10 + USD 3.60 $ – Total: EUR 26.77
2015: BGN 0.01 + CAD 0.05 + CHF 0.05 + DDM 0.20 + DEM 0.01 + EUR 24.51 + TRY 0.10 + USD 5.59 – Total: EUR 29.91
2016: CHF 0.50 + DKK 2.50 + EUR 7.02 + GBP 1.05 + USD 0.58 – Total: EUR 9.53
2017: EUR 9.36 + USD 0.42 – Total: EUR 9.71
2018: CNY 1.20 + CZK 2.00 + EUR 8.71 + GBP 0.05 + THB 0.50 – Total: EUR 9.03

Total 2011 – 2017: EUR 113.53
BGN 0.01
CAD 0.31
CHF 2.10
CNY 1.20
CZK 2.00
DDM 0.20
DEM 0.02
DKK 3.50
EUR 97.99
GBP 1.45
MAD 5.00
MXN 0.10
PLN 2.06
TRY 0.10
USD 12.48
THB 0.50

Bilderbuch (2011–)


^ Bilderbuch at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, 2017


^ Bilderbuch at Zephyr Mannheim, 2012

Unique site-specific print installations based on an ongoing collection of printed matter, removed from the original context and presented without any comment.
Pigment ink prints, 40 x 30 cm each

Bilderbuch 1.0, 120 pages, Berlin/Mannheim 2012
Bilderbuch 1.1: 16 pages in Joachim Schmid e le fotografie degli altri (2012)
Bilderbuch 1.2: 23 pages in The Lazlo Reader: The Art of Remaking. Second Chances (2015)
Bilderbuch 2.0, 144 pages, Berlin 2017

Zwölf Frauen (2011)

Zwölf Frauen is a series of portraits of twelve women united by a status unique only to them.
Twelve pigment ink prints, 40 x 30 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Illustriertes Tierleben (2010)

Illustriertes Tierleben is a collection of images taken from a daily Berlin newspaper, all of which come from the animal related “human interest” articles that run in the “miscellaneous news” section of the paper. The pictures and relating stories illustrate the relationship between modern humans and fauna.
Twenty-four pigment ink prints, 30 x 40 cm, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP

The Coach House Project (2011)

I have been living with Marshall McLuhan’s books for more than thirty years, so when I was in Toronto, in the spring of 2010, a visit to McLuhan’s institute was inevitable. McLuhan was the man who anticipated the internet four decades in advance of its inception, the man “who perpetually stated his loathing and contempt for most of the electronic age, yet a man who perversely and ironically is considered its biggest cheerleader” (Douglas Coupland). Mulling over the impact of McLuhan’s writing as well as the impact of the internet on the perception of his ideas, I decided to test the internet and specifically the search engine, that mnemonic slot machine that the modern world relies upon, using McLuhan as an example. The Coach House, McLuhan’s professional home, a tiny building behind a grand old mansion on the university’s campus, served as my object of investigation. On the anniversary of McLuhan’s death, December 31st, 2010 a Google image search for “Coach House” Toronto produced “about 12,100 results.” The search engine presented a selection of 908 “relevant” photographs. All are now printed in The Coach House / An Inventory. Five of these images relate in some way to the coach house in question; two of them show the house itself and a further two show Marshall McLuhan at this coach house.

The Coach House book is a collaboration of Joachim Schmid and NPN Drukkers. The book was produced on the occasion of the exhibition Graphic Detour at the Graphic Design Museum Breda (opening in June).

Nine Errors (2010)

In early 2010 I published Quick Response, a hands-on introduction into the realm of QR code applications. People have to “read” this book by taking photos of each page using a cameraphone. The phone’s QR code reader will then decode the abstract images to reveal that each image is an encoded URL for a photograph hosted on Flickr. The series of photos demonstrates the variety of modern commercial, artistic and subversive QR code applications. In addition, the book demonstrates a new way of appropriating other people’s photographs.
The series Nine Errors was made when Breda Photo Festival invited me to participate in their exhibition Another Street View in September 2010.
Photographs were presented as an online exhibition that was accessible via smartphone. Stickers with QR codes refering to the exhibits were spread around the city of Breda. So the exhibition existed only on the displays of smartphones in the streets of Breda. Instead of providing the expected images for an exhibition in public space that would be accessible exclusively for the owners of smartphones and that would support the idea of turning public space into a machine-readable surface, I decided to subvert the system by introducing (images of) a series of errors.
In the following years I continued pasting my stickers refering to error messages over existing QR codes in various cities.
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.


^ Breda 2010


^ Berlin 2011


^ Bordeaux 2011


^ Salzburg 2011


^ Berlin 2011


^ Paris 2013

2011–2013 in Amsterdam, Bamberg, Barcelona, Bayonne, Berlin, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Breda, Brussels, Cologne, Erlangen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Kassel, Lausanne, Lisbon, Łódź, London, Mannheim, Marseille, Montpellier, Mulhouse, Naples, New York, Nice, Palermo, Paris, Pau, Rome, Rotterdam, Salzburg, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Utrecht, Venice, Zurich.

O Campo (2010)

O Campo, or in its translation The Field, is a series of photographs of football fields in Brazilian cities. The images were taken via satellite and they show the rather oddly shaped football pitches that seem to be built wherever possible – the desire for playing the game has clearly surpassed and ignored the limitations of natural topography and FIFA’s laws of the game. According to the official rules and regulations you would not be allowed to play football on any of these fields. However, the careers of many of the world’s best football players began on these very same fields despite their askew angles, odd proportions, mis-shapen border lines and pitch markings. Studying the architectual contexts of these fields we get an idea about the social context where these players come from.
Sixteen pigment ink prints, 30 x 40 cm on 40 x 50 cm paper, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP

Meetings (2003/2007)

The series Meetings was originally made for the book A meeting on holiday. Based on imagery provided by international holiday resort operators, the images take you to Postcardland where happy couples gather under a perfectly blue sky and enjoy the beach, the pool, a cocktail, a dinner, a sunset, and a hotel room
Twelve pigment ink prints, 30 x 40 cm on 40 x 50 cm paper, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Netzerscheinungen (2006–2007)

Three multi-channel digital photo installations that are based on imagery found on the internet:
Menschen und Dinge (People and Things), 2006, 57 min. loop
Orte und Zeichen (Places and Signs), 2007, 46 min. loop
Waren und Träume (Commodities and Dreams), 2007, 52 min. loop
A three volume catalogue is available in the series of white books.


^ Menschen und Dinge. 853 Bilder für das 21. Jahrhundert at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco 2007

Waren und Träume (2007)

Waren und Träume. 781 Bilder für das 21. Jahrhundert
(Commodities and Dreams. 781 Pictures for the 21st Century)
Multichannel digital photo installation, 52 min. loop

Orte und Zeichen (2007)

Orte und Zeichen. 629 Bilder für das 21. Jahrhundert
(Places and Signs. 629 Pictures for the 21st Century)
Multichannel digital photo installation, 46 min. loop

Untitled Portraits (2007)

Pixelated and decontextualized portraits of politicians altered in such a way as to test the treshold of recognition.
21 pigment ink prints, 50 x 66,7 cm on 80 x 60 cm paper, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Schemen (2005)

A series of prints that are based on drawings that are based on photographs, taken from a Berlin tabloid newspaper.
Five pigment ink prints, 50 x 40 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP

Tausend Himmel (2005)

The pictures in Tausend Himmel (Thousand Skies or Thousand Heavens) are a small selection from a vast collection. At first glance they appear to be photographs of clouds, of the sky, and of helicopters. In fact, they are photographs of sounds – the sounds of helicopters. I took them to help me deal with a hearing condition called hyperacusis. After more than a year and two thousand photographs later, I had nearly stopped noticing why I started taking them. I guess, in this way, the exercise could be considered a complete success.
JS, March 2007
Multichannel digital photo installation, 75 min. loop

Cyberspaces (2004)

Die Serie Cyberspaces entstand, nachdem ich bemerkt hatte, daß ich zuviel Zeit im Internet verbringe. Vor dem Computer sitzend stellte sich mir beim Aufenthalt im Virtuellen die Frage nach dem Authentischen. Ich beschloß, dieser Frage an einem konkreten Beispiel nachzugehen, und suchte Bilder von der Beschäftigung, die ich gerade ausübte: Sitzen. Um im Sitzen Bilder vom Sitzen zu machen, begab ich mich im Internet auf die Suche nach Menschen, die vor Computern sitzen. Das Thema meiner Arbeit habe ich also nicht mit den Augen oder dem Gehirn gefunden, sondern mit meinem Hintern.
Während ich vor dem Computer sitze, sitzen Millionen von Menschen rund um den Globus ebenfalls vor ihren Computern. Dieses massenhafte Sitzen ist eine Tätigkeit, die in der Vereinzelung ausgeübt und deswegen wenig gesehen wird. Preiswerte Technik und globale Vernetzung machen einen Teil der Sitzenden sichtbar. Eine kleine, über dem Monitor angebrachte Kamera liefert uns in bescheidener Qualität Bilder der Menschen, die sich vor dem Computer aufhalten. Die für Überwachungszwecke entwickelte Technik wird in Chatrooms genutzt und findet ihre kommerzielle Anwendung im Sexgeschäft.
Der Computer-Monitor wird zum Schaufenster eines globalen Bordells, die Kreditkarte öffnet die Tür. Kommuniziert wird wie in jedem anderen internationalen Geschäftszweig über die Tastatur in schlechtem Englisch. Anbieter und Abnehmer sind an keinen Ort gebunden, der Betrieb ist 24 Stunden am Tag geöffnet. Ich habe mich als Kunde registriert und meinen temporären Geschäftspartnerinnen meine Wünsche übermittelt. Meine Anweisungen waren einfach und leicht verständlich: aufstehen, rausgehen. Die Kreditkarte gibt Weisungsbefugnis – wer zahlt, bestimmt was vor der Kamera passiert. Die Kreditkarte ist eine Erweiterung der Kamera, sie dient als ihr digitaler Fernauslöser. Ich habe den Auslöser betätigt, sobald nur noch der unbelebte Raum zu sehen war.
Das Resultat sind Bilder verlassener Räume, in denen Sitzgelegenheiten stehen. Es gibt in diesen Bildern Indizien, die auf die Nutzung der abgebildeten Räume schließen lassen. Die Räume sind Teil der realen Welt, doch nur im Cyberspace sind sie zugänglich. Wir dürfen allerdings nicht vergessen, daß wir es auf dem Bildschirm nicht mit animierten Figuren, sondern mit lebenden Menschen zu tun haben. Auf den Stühlen, Sesseln und Sofas sitzen Frauen, die das tun, was ihre zahlenden Kunden zu sehen wünschen. Das ist gemeint, wenn von der neuen Dienstleistungsgesellschaft im Zeitalter der Globalisierung die Rede ist. Es geht hier um eine große Menge von Arbeitsplätzen in Ost-Europa und Süd-Ost-Asien. Hinter jeder Kamera steht eine Ich-AG. Die Geschäftsidee ist die Entsorgung von überflüssigem Sperma in den reicheren Ländern. Die Produktion von Bildern spielt dabei eine zentrale Rolle.
In meiner Variation dieser Bilder sehen wir die Bühne, auf der die Dienstleister ihre Haut zu Markte tragen. Die abgebildeten Kulissen und Requisiten haben erzählerisches Potential. Doch die Erzählung findet nicht in den Bildern statt. Die Bilder sind Auslöser und Projektionsflächen der Imagination. Ich habe beim Herstellen dieser Bilder eher beiläufig ziemlich viel über Prostitution gelernt. Dieses Wissen ist in den Bildern aufgehoben. Ich weiß allerdings nicht, wieviel von dem, was ich über Prostitution im Cyberspace weiß, aus den Bildern stammt. Ich weiß ebenfalls nicht, wieviel und was die Betrachter meinen Bilder entnehmen.
JS, Berlin, Oktober 2005

The images were derived from footage of commercial online sexcams.
36 Lambda prints, 36 x 48 cm each on 50 x 60 cm paper, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Retratos decisivos (2004)

Retratos decisivos was a temporary public art project commissioned by and realized in collaboration with PhotoEspaña in Madrid in June 2004 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of D-Day. The project consisted of both an extensive installation in Madrid’s metro station Nuevos Ministerios and a brochure that was distributed for free among the users of the Madrid metro. The work is based on the series Decisive Portraits.

Belo Horizonte, Praça Rui Barbosa (2002)






^ foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, 2003

When I made my first trip to Brazil in 1992 I arrived in Belo Horizonte, a city as big as Berlin that most people have never heard of outside Brazil. In a public square in the center of this city I found a series of black-and-white portrait negatives. The photographers who made these portraits worked in the square using extremely simple equipment: a wooden box that served both as a camera and a darkroom. In front of a simple backdrop, photographs were taken with that box and developed inside it. The clients got their portraits after few minutes. The negatives were discarded. I collected these negatives and printed them. The title of that work is Belo Horizonte, Praça Rio Branco. In 1993 I made a similar work, Belo Horizonte, Parque Municipal.
Originally these portraits were taken for various administrative purposes, ID cards, driving licenses, and so on. People who are well off get their portraits taken in studios, and people who cannot afford studio portraits go to the square. The photographers do not give directions to the people depicted. They take plain, frontal, straightforward portraits.
When I returned to Belo Horizonte this year the photographers had moved to another square. And they had abandoned their primitive technique. They work in colour now using 35 mm cameras. After the photographs are taken they run to the nearest lab to get the strip of film developed and printed. The clients pick up their portraits about half an hour after they were taken. Negatives are still discarded. During my stay in Belo Horizonte I got up very early every morning before the street cleaners start to work, walked to the square and collected all the negatives I found. The result is Belo Horizonte, Praça Rui Barbosa.
JS, Berlin, September 2002

Photo-based installation consisting of 240 portraits, 24 x 18 cm each.
Ten selected portraits are available as c-prints (30 x 20 cm each on 42 x 30 cm paper, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP).

A selection of portraits was published in the book Belo Horizonte, Praça Rui Barbosa (2004).
Another selection is included in the book Lambe Lambe (2014).

The Joachim Schmid Collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum (2000)

The Joachim Schmid Collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum was a temporary intervention at the Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford, 25 March 2000 to 8 September 2002 (for more information about this project see Elizabeth Edwards’ essay in Transformations: The Art of Recycling, catalogue published by the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.)

The Face in the Desert (1999)

The Face in the Desert was a public art project commissioned by and realized in collaboration with the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford. The project consisted of both an installation in Bradford city center and a newspaper. The images used for this project were found in the museum’s vast Daily Herald newspaper archive.

Sinterklaas ziet alles (1998)

Sinterklaas ziet alles was realized as part of PhotoWork(s) in Progress II/Constructing Identity, commissioned by Mondriaan Stichting and Nederlands Foto Instituut Rotterdam. The project consists of 180 stacks of index cards (offset print) in postcard racks.
The complete set of 180 index cards is available as a boxed set.

Decisive Portraits (1998)


^ Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs 2007

They came from the United States of America.
Evans, Garrett, Private in 9th Army Air Corps. Coley, Chapman and a Master Sgt., 23rd Apr. 1944
They gathered in the south of England.
Pattiford – Goodlet, Johnson – Hovington, 9th Army Air Corps, April 1944
They prepared for the day of decision.
Bradley – Bailey – Booth – Van Reed, 9th U.S. Army Air Corps, April 1944
They made no decisions themselves.
Basden. Mils. Liggans, U.S.A., May 1944
They imagined their lives after the battle.
Dulin. Slade. Johnson. Roebuck, U.S. Army, May 1944
They had their portraits taken before leaving.
Andrews, Pte. Powell, Sgt. Montgomery, Sgt. Montague, U.S. Air Force, May 1944
They left on the morning of June 6th.
Jones U.S.A., Nolan U.S.A., Scott U.S.A., Miles U.S.A., May 1944
Their portraits remained.
Bishop, Dailey, Bradley, Ferguson, U.S. Army, 1944

Decisive Portraits is derived from portraits taken by George Garland in April and May 1944 in Petworth, Sussex (see Very Miscellaneous).
Based on these portraits, Retratos decisivos was a temporary public art project, commissioned by and realized in collaboration with PhotoEspaña in Madrid in 2004.
Eight b/w photographs and a text panel, 38 x 28 cm each, edition of 2 copies
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Very Miscellaneous (1996)


^ Fabrica, Brighton, 11 October to 1 November 1997


^ Hasselblad Center, Konstmuseet Göteborg 1999


^ Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs 2007

Very Miscellaneous is based on the George Garland Collection and the archive of newspapers at the West Sussex Record Office. The work was commissioned by PhotoWorks as part of the Country Life series, curated by Val Williams.
Variable cluster of seventy b/w photographs, appr. 20 x 30 cm each.
Six portraits and six texts are available as diptychs (one portrait and one text in any combination; b/w prints, 36 x 24 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP).

Photographic Garbage Survey Project (1996–1997)


^ From Photographic Garbage Survey Project, Report No.2


^ Goethe-Institut, Galerie Condé, Paris 1996

For nearly fifteen years I’ve been collecting all photographs I’m finding in the street. Each photograph becomes part of the ongoing project Pictures from the Street. In the beginning, collecting this garbage was a casual activity, however, it slowly turned into an obsession. The longer I’ve been doing it and the more photographs I’ve been finding the more my way of perception changed. Now I don’t find photographs any more, I look for them – just like a truffle pig. Indeed I think that the nearly 400 photographs I have found so far are a treasure. Some of them are extremely fascinating images (mankind would have lost them irretrievably without my intervention) and the entire group forms a unique compendium of photographic garbage, an anti-museum. While museums collect and preserve those pictures which according to our society’s consensus are important samples of our present culture and should be kept for the future, I’m specialising in those images which obviously are considered so unsuitable and irritating that their makers and owners think they should not have any future at all. These images represent the other half of our culture.
In 1996 I started the Photographic Garbage Survey Project in order to collect and preserve thrown away photographs systematically. I travel to selected cities all over the world and stay there for some days or weeks. Every day I go for an erratic walk through another part of the city in order to collect all abandoned photographs. The result of these inspection tours is a report for each city consisting of the found photographs, a list of discovery sites, maps with the inspected streets marked, and a statistical evaluation. Altogether these reports form an international compendium of photographic pollution in modern cities. The project started in Vigo (May 1996). Subsequent cities include Paris (June 1996), Berlin (August 1996), Zurich (September 1996), São Paulo (November 1996), San Francisco (February 1997), and Rotterdam (July 1997).
JS, Berlin, August 1996
(Statement for the catalogue of the VII Fotobienal, Vigo 1996)

Arcana (1996 / 2008)


^ Berlin, April 1986


^ Madrid, February 1992


^ Cambridge, March 1992


^ Lisbon, March 1993

Prints made from found negatives.
Twenty b/w pigment ink prints, 35 x 39 cm each on 40 x 45 cm paper. A selection of ten pictures was reprinted in 2014 (pigment ink prints 40 x 45 cm, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP)
An expanded version consisting of 45 images in a smaller size was made in 2008 (pigment ink prints, approx. 20 x 23 cm on 23 x 27 cm paper, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP).

A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Statics (1995–2003)


^ Statics (invitation cards for art exhibitions), 1996, 60 x 70 cm


^ Statics (baseball cards 2), 1996, 40 x 50 cm


^ Statics (Walter Benjamin, Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit), 1997, 40 x 50 cm


^ Statics (pinup postcards), 1998, 50 x 60 cm


^ Statics (men’s fashion catalogue), 1999, 60 x 80 cm


^ Statics (women’s fashion catalogue), 1999, 60 x 80 cm


^ Statics (postcards of sunsets 2), 2003, 50 x 60 cm


^ Statics (Marlboro billboard), 2002, 235 x 315 cm, Foto Biënnale Rotterdam 2003


^ The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY 2007

Statics is a series of 81 pictures made from shredded photographs and printed matter.
Shredded photographs and printed matter mounted on archival board, unique works, various sizes.
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Photogenetic Drafts (1991)

This series of 32 photographs is based on the archive of a commercial photographer who donated the negatives he didn’t need any more to The Institute for the Reprocessing of Used Photographs. The photographer cut his negatives to prevent their future use. This attempt to preclude new prints triggered the creation of photographs that would not exist without the attempted destruction. Consistent point of view, consistent light, and consistent poses allowed the combination of two negatives into one single image. The resulting photographs are portraits of non-existing persons. They are based on the genetic pool of the population of a small town in Bavaria. Like in genetic engineering, existing information was dismantled and spliced to create formerly unknown mutations, playing with genetic inheritance, age, gender, and personality.
Cluster of portraits (178 x 314 cm) consisting of thirty-two b/w prints (37 x 28 cm each)
Photogenetic Drafts #s 4, 7, 8, 10, 15, 20, 24, 32 were reprinted in 2001 (48 x 34 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP)

A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Erste allgemeine Altfotosammlung (1990)

First General Collection of Used Photographs
Year in and year out an unimaginable number of photographs are produced worldwide. Virtually every day each of us enlarges this gigantic mountain of photographs, without giving the consequences a second thought. But while photography seems a harmless leisure pursuit, the chemicals contained in all photographs pose enormous dangers to our health. What‘s more, photographs in such quantities increase visual pollution and undermine our thinking power—to say nothing of the moral dangers they pose for our children.
In these conditions it would be best if we stopped making photographs altogether—but in many cases this is hardly possible. Therefore, it is essential to professionally dispose of all photographs once they are no longer needed. Experts from East and West have warned us for decades about the impending, catastrophic consequences of the photo boom, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears among those responsible in industry and politics. Today billions of used photographs are stored improperly in homes and businesses, waiting for desparately needed recycling facilities.
The Institute for the Reprocessing of Used Photographs, privately founded in 1990, offers a clear path out of this seemingly inescapable situation. The Institute maintains all facilities necessary to professionally reprocess photos of all kinds—or, in hopeless cases, dispose of them ecologically. We collect used, abandoned and unfashionable photographs in black and white or color, including instant photographs, photobooth strips, entire photo albums, contact sheets, test strips, negatives and slides, as well as damaged and shredded items, in both small and large quantities.
Remember, used photographs do not belong in the household garbage—they need special disposal. Many photographs can serve a new and useful purpose after reprocessing. For the sake of our environment, send your used photographs to the Institute for the Reprocessing of Used Photographs.
Participation in this recycling program is guaranteed free of charge!


^
Torn-up studio portraits mounted on archival board, 50 x 40 cm each

Meisterwerke der Fotokunst (1989)

Meisterwerke der Fotokunst – Die Sammlung Fricke und Schmid. Zwanzig Originalreproduktionen unbekannter Werke bekannter Fotografen
Masterpieces of Photography – The Fricke and Schmid Collection. Twenty original reproductions of unknown works by well-known photographers
This collectors’ edition is an ironic comment on the accidential nature of photography. It consists of twenty “original reproductions” of anonymous photographs that were selected from a vast collection of fleamarket snapshots because of their striking resemblance to the works of well-known photographers. The photos’ titles and dates match the respective photographers’ œuvre. A short introduction attributed to photo historian Helmut Gernsheim corroborates the standing of the collection. The work was launched on the occasion of photography’s 150th anniversary (collaboration with Adib Fricke).
Photographs by Adolphe de Meyer, Edward Steichen, E.J. Bellocq, Hannah Höch, Eugène Atget, August Sander, Berenice Abbot, Man Ray, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, René Magritte, Ralph Gibson, Robert Frank, Ansel Adams, Gisèle Freund, Harry Callahan, David Hockney, Duane Michals, William Wegman, Helmut Newton, Cindy Sherman.
Twenty matted photographs in a slipcase, 25.5 x 20.5 x 4.5 cm, edition of 20 + V copies

Faits divers (1988/2006)



Faits divers is a series of prints based on factual news photographs that unfold an unintentional poetic character in combination with their deadpan captions.
Twelve b/w photographs, 30 x 40 cm each. The series was reprinted in 2006 (pigment ink prints, 40 x 50 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP).
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Originalfoto (1987/2019)

Ten portraits published in the mid 1980s in lonely hearts ads in a Berlin tabloid.
The series was originally made in 1987 and reconstructed in 2019 (pigment ink prints, 24 x 30 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP)

Zur Theorie der Fotografie (1986)

For the series On the Theory of Photography I re-photographed the reverse sides of selected fleamarket snapshots with inscriptions by their former owners. In these short phrases we can catch a glimpse of popular understanding of photography and its forms of use in society. We can consider these naive descriptions and observations as the raw material for a theory of popular photography that has yet to be written.
Installation with 36 framed b/w photographs

April 1986 (1986/2016)

Something was coming upon us. You couldn’t see it, you couldn’t hear it, you couldn’t taste it, you couldn’t smell it. Yet anyone following the news could feel the end of the world moving closer. Feeling helpless, I tried to produce an image of the imperceptible. I photographed the grey sky over Berlin, full of threat. In view to the east, the uncanny, something no wall could stop. But I was a bit careless in developing the film. So in the images you can see what you couldn’t see in the sky. One mistake made the other one visible.
Four pigment ink prints, 30 x 40 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP
(Originally made as a one-of-a-kind artist book the work was revised and completed with a new text on the occasion of the incident’s thirtieth anniversary.)

FixFoto (1986)

The print was made from a color negative strip that I found at the spot where the photographs were made and processed, in front of Berlin’s first one-hour lab. A closed circuit of making, processing, discarding, and finding a photograph.
B/W print mounted on aluminum 128 x 28.5 cm, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP

Archiv (1986–1999)


^ Archiv #1, 1986


^ Archiv #74, 1988


^ Archiv #103, 1990


^ Archiv #190, 1992


^ Archiv #227, 1992


^ Archiv #248, 1992


^ Archiv #253, 1992


^ Archiv #266, 1992


^ Archiv #317, 1993


^ Archiv #606, 1994


^ Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery,
Saratoga Springs 2007

Archiv is an analytical survey of international vernacular photography through the course of 20th century consisting of assortments of images – snapshots, studio photos, postcards, commercial photos, photos of missing people, newspaper images – grouped and classified according to their similarity on panels. The panels highlight the mechanical uniformity and conformity of image production, the collective patterns and rituals of popular photographic representations. The project is a history, a commentary, and a celebration of the mundane weirdness of commonplace photography.
The project consists of 726 panels, 40 x 50 cm each.
146 panels were in the traveling exhibition ⟩Knipsen⟨. Private Fotografie in Deutschland von 1900 bis heute (Taking Snapshots. Amateur Photography in Germany from 1900 to the Present). They are now in the archive of Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Stuttgart.
580 panels are in the collection of The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY.
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

Security Check (1985–1987)

Before airports were equipped with X-ray devices, security staff checked carry-on bags manually. Travellers carrying a camera were requested to release the shutter once to prove the camera was not explosive. I carried a point-and-shoot camera on me only to make photographs in this duel situation. The security staff were obliged to look at the camera while they simultaneously tried to avoid being photographed. Eight times I managed to get at least a part of a person into the frame.
Eight b/w prints, 13 x 18 cm each, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP

Bilder von der Straße (1982–2012)


^ No.5, Berlin, April 1983


^ No.37, Berlin, August 1987


^ No.74, Barcelona, April 1990


^ No.75, Berlin, May 1990


^ No.83, Berlin, July 1990


^ No.140, Belo Horizonte, August 1992


^ No.187, São Paulo, September 1993


^ No.216, San Francisco, March 1994


^ No.217, Los Angeles, March 1994


^ No.246, Paris, October 1994


^ No.309, Paris, August 1995


^ No.344, Berlin, December 1995


^ No.379, New York, March 1996


^ No.409, Berlin, June 1996


^ No.414, Paris, July 1996


^ No.460, Rio de Janeiro, December 1996


^ No.629, Berlin, November 1999


^ No.714, Chicago, August 2001


^ No.744, Recife, April 2002


^ No.830, Madrid, February 2004


^ No.885, New York, February 2007


^ The Photographers’ Gallery, London 2007

The series Bilder von der Straße (Pictures from the Street) started in 1982 and came to an end in 2012 with the 1000th finding.
One thousand A4 panels of found photographs mounted on board, 29.7 x 21 cm each.
A complete documentation of the work is available as a four-volume book.

Artist Books

Find links to individual books with detailed information about the respective titles on the Printed Matter page. For purchasing books please go to the Shop.

A meeting on holiday, Neroc’VGM in collaboration with KesselsKramer, Amsterdam 2003
American Photographs, self-published, Berlin 2011
Are you searching for me?, self-published, Berlin 2012/2015
Around the World in Eighty Minutes, self-published, Berlin 2011/2015
Art Addicts Anonymous, Edition Fricke & Schmid, Berlin 1993
Art Peace China Daily, self-published, Berlin 2018
Awesome Errors, Dreadful Glitches, self-published, Berlin 2012
Belo Horizonte, Praça Rui Barbosa, self-published, Berlin 2004
Bilder von der Straße, Edition Fricke & Schmid, Berlin 1994
Bilderbuch, self-published in cooperation with Zephyr, Berlin/Mannheim 2012
Bilderbuch 2.0, self-published, Berlin 2017
Borrowed, self-published, Berlin 2012
But Is It Art?, self-published, Berlin 2010/2012
Cool Pictures, Cool Stuff, self-published, Berlin 2009/2012
Das Bild des Fotografen, Edition Fricke & Schmid, Berlin 1988
Der Leser hat das Bild, Edition Fricke & Schmid, Berlin 1988
E-Book, self-published, Berlin 2016
Errata, Edition Fricke & Schmid, Berlin 1989
Erste allgemeine Altfotosammlung, Edition Fricke & Schmid, Berlin 1991
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Photography, self-published, Berlin 2012
Faits divers, Edition Fricke & Schmid, Berlin 1989
Fifteen Minutes on Broadway, self-published, Berlin 2014
Fotobuch, self-published, Berlin 2018
Found on Flickr, self-published, Berlin 2013
Gesucht wird …, self-published, Berlin 2018
History Lessons, self-published, Berlin 2015
Ikea Sucks, self-published, Berlin 2015
Illustriertes Tierleben, self-published, Berlin 2010
In Dialogue, self-published, Berlin 2009
Joachim Schmid Is Martin Parr · Martin Parr Is Joachim Schmid, self-published, Berlin 2009
Kunst gegen Essen, Edition Fricke & Schmid, Berlin 1996
Kunstgeschichte für alle, self-published, Berlin 2013
L.A. Women, self-published, Berlin 2011
Lambe Lambe, Editorial RM, Barcelona/Mexico City 2014
Lost Memories, self-published, Berlin 2010/2012
Main Street, self-published, Berlin 2015
Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts, self-published, Berlin 2013
O Campo, self-published, Berlin 2010
Ohne Worte, self-published, Berlin 2013
One Day in May, self-published, Berlin 2014
One Hundred Things to Remember, self-published, Berlin 2018
Other People’s Photographs (96 vol.), self-published, Berlin 2008–2011
Other People’s Photographs (2 vol.), self-published, Berlin 2012
Phantome, Edition Fricke & Schmid, Berlin 1992
Porträts, Edition Fricke & Schmid, Berlin 1989
Quick Response, self-published, Berlin 2010/2012
Replicated, self-published, Berlin 2012
Retratos decisivos, PhotoEspaña, Madrid 2004
Seventy-Five Are Better Than Thirty-Two, self-published, Berlin 2011
sind wir dumm – Ein Lexikon der Suchvorschläge, self-published, Berlin 2017
Sinterklaas ziet alles, Nederlands Foto Instituut, Rotterdam 1998
Sixty-Eight Minutes on the Sunset Strip, self-published, Berlin 2014
Sorry. A Book of Errors, self-published, Berlin 2016
Souvenirs, self-published, Berlin 2010/2015
Tausend Himmel, The Photographers’ Gallery, London 2007
The ABC of Popular Desire, self-published, Berlin 2013
The Coach House / An Inventory, self-published in cooperation with Graphic Design Museum, Berlin/Breda 2011
The Face in the Desert, National Museum of Photography, Bradford 1999
The Missing Pictures, self-published, 2009/2012
The Showbag Book, self-published, Berlin 2008
Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, Thirtyfour Parking Lots, Nine Swimming Pools, A Few Palm Trees, No Small Fires, self-published, Berlin 2009
Two Hundred Alternative Facts about Mr T, self-published, Berlin 2017
Unfortunate Selfies, self-published, Berlin 2016
Very Miscellaneous, PhotoWorks, Maidstone 1997
Viaggio in Italia, P420 Arte Contemporanea, Bologna 2015
Vom Gehen, self-published, Berlin 2017
Von eigener Hand, self-published, Berlin 2013
When Boredom Strikes, self-published, Berlin 2009/2012
X Marks the Spot, self-published, Berlin 2013
¥€$, self-published, Leerdam 2016

☞ A comprehensive list of all Printed Matter in alphabetical order is here.

My books are in the following collections:
Alfred R. Goldstein Library, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota
Art Gallery of York University, Toronto
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
Biblioteca da Escola de Belas Artes da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte
Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Pompidou, Paris
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris
Booklet Library, Tokyo
Columbia University, New York City
Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain Nord–Pas de Calais, Dunkerque
Fotohof, Salzburg
Freie Universität Berlin
Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg
Ingalls Library, The Cleveland Museum of Art
International Center of Photography, New York
John M. Flaxman Library, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Nationale Bibliotheek von Nederland, The Hague
Kunst- und Museumsbibliothek der Stadt Köln
Kunstbibliothek, Berlin
Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz · Max-Planck-Institut
Les arts au mur / Artothèque de Pessac
Museo de arte contemporáneo de Vigo
Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Cinisello-Balsamo
Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
Museum Folkwang, Essen
Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam
New York Public Library
Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, The Banff Centre
Rijksmuseum Research Library, Amsterdam
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Tate Library and Archive, London
Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
University of California, Los Angeles
Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven