Ueli Alder (born in 1979 in Urnäsch, Appenzell Ausserrhoden) is regarded as one of the most interesting protagonists of contemporary photography in Switzerland, with strong connections to his personal roots. Alder comes from Urnäsch (in the Appenzeller Land region of Switzerland), studied at the College of Arts in Zürich and, as this year’s winner of the Lang-Chardonnens Foundation’s prize, is also holder of a Chicago scholarship.
Many themes of his self-staged photographs are influenced by their conceptual proximity to motifs found in the USA, and create an impressive curve of tension between transplants from Alder’s home region of Appenzell and the mystique of the American West. Confrontation with the photographer’s ego is part of the concept when weapons flash in Ausserrhoden, bears are laid low or houses burn in the background. These impressions and visions are owed to the search for and the finding of identity. The experience will seldom be more enthralling than in Ueli Alder’s photography.