Burtscher, Christoph

Burtscher, Christopher, Berlin, Germany

I was born in Austria in 1965 and grew up in Vorarlberg. After graduating from high school, I studied psychology and comparative literature at the University of Innsbruck, and later photography with Sibylle Bergemann at the Berlin school 'Fotografie am Schiffbauerdamm'. I was a scholarship holder at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts Salzburg. For many years I live and work in Berlin. Participation in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the Fotosommer Stuttgart 2005, the Toronto Photography Festival 2005 in Canada, the Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie 2006, the Kaunas Photo Days 2006 in Lithuania, the 3rd European Month of Photography in Vienna 2008 and the International Photo Festival 2009 in Lodz (Poland).

Ueberfahrt nach Dover 1978

Kindertagebucharbeit: ‘Kommt ein Vogel geflogen…’ – a photographic diary of a child (1973–1983) by Christoph Burtscher In 1973 my parents presented me my first camera – so I began taking photographs, when I was just a six year old boy. I observed my family and friends living and growing up in Vorarlberg, the western part of Austria, until 1983. Some years ago I began carefully sifting through these rediscovered family snaps which had survived two to three decades in some shoe cartons. While I tried to free the biographic picture material from its private family character and the context of the Seventies and early Eighties in such a way that the images are put to life in newly established sequences, I was often reminded of a quotation by the French writer and artist Hervé Guibert: 'If you open these cartons one day', he says, 'death jumps at you, but also life, both intertwined, covering and hidingeach other.'In order to keep the perspective of the boy, who took all of these family snaps, essays from primary school are accompanying the hotographs. One of them is called ‘A bird comes flying by…’ (1973): ‘A bird comes flying by. A mother found a bird. She wanted to bring the little bird to Franz. But than the mother bird came. Oh no, the mother bird grabbed the baby bird from her hand. You see how much the mother bird loves the baby bird.A mother has lost her child. The child went up a mountain. The second kid stayed home. Then the firemen came. But they were afraid to go up the mountain. Then the mother went up the mountain’.