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Reiner Riedler

Reiner Riedler - End of the Night

End of the Night


A packed nightclub, sweat-soaked bodies pressed tightly together, waves of dancing figures swaying in the strobe lighting: vivid memories of a music culture that had me reminiscing wistfully and provided the starting point for a journey into Vienna’s club scene now frozen in time. During the first lockdown in April 2020, I began contacting clubs in Vienna and photographing them under these difficult conditions. At the time, many of them already had an air of evanescence about them. Party leftovers, empty bottles and glasses still on the tables, cloakrooms that still had items of clothing left behind by the last batch of patrons, spotlights dismantled for repair, and sound systems temporarily decommissioned, the stages deserted. It was as if an invisible veil had been draped over these premises: they seemed bare and without purpose. Even the cold odour of alcohol and cigarette smoke had dissipated after a short while. By the winter of 2020, most of these venues were closed and unheated. Others were undergoing a revamp, being freshly painted and ready to reopen. Here, a more upbeat sense of new beginnings was in the air. I was aware that, as a documentary photographer, I had to find a way to capture this period and its impact without letting my ideas overwhelm the photographs. If only because I had memories of my own with many of these clubs. Over time, I accumulated a collection of photographs which, more and more, lay bare the exhausted state of the club scene as a whole.
Alongside the photographs I took in the clubs, I noticed how very young people in particular were reclaiming public places in Vienna and parties were relocating outdoors while at night the bars remained closed. Young people had found their way and, in their joie de vivre, were adapting organically to the situation. I set off on long nighttime walks in the areas surrounding the venues, and to the outskirts of the city. The use of flash photography in keeping with the corroding and destructive power of the virus is part of the concept.The choice of photographs made for this book is of course incomplete as regards the club scene. It is, instead, a personal selection reflecting my own mood. (Reiner Riedler)

Reiner Riedler,* in Gmunden, Austria. Lives and works in Vienna.

24 × 17 cm,131 Pages
∞ Colour images
Text: Lukas Matzinger, Reiner Riedler

Language: English, German

Design: Liza Borovskaya-Brodskaya, Mitzi Gugg

ISBN: 978-3-903334-26-7


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