Reiner Riedler’s Authentic Fakes

Reiner, Riedler, Tree #01, Ski Dubai, 2006

Reiner Riedler is an Austrian artist who originally wanted to study ethnology. It is clear he is interested in ideas of technology, the authentic experience, globalism, simulacrum, and leisure. His series entitled Fake Holidays explores the physical manifestations of manufactured demand, constructed satiation, privileged entitlement, and the tension between excessive wants and basic human needs. His landscapes seem somehow satisfying yet, at the same time edge into the realm of post-apocalypse. He shows us indoor ski slopes in Dubai, a moonlight rest in an indoor tropical dome in Germany, and lunch on the “Star Trek Experience” in Las Vegas.

Riedler’s Fake Holidays series brings to mind a quote from the now famous book Air Guitar by the critic and cultural theorist Dave Hickey on the issue of authenticity, wherein, he proclaims the giant rhinestone as his favorite object in the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada.

-Dave Hickey writes:

“One either prefers the honest fakery of the neon or the fake honesty of the sunset – the undisguised artifice of culture or the cultural construction of ‘authentic’ nature – the genuine rhinestone, finally, or the imitation pearl.”

The distinction that Hickey is making here is that honest fakery allows an appreciation of a scene or object for what it is without deferring to culturally-imposed ideas of beauty considered to be “authentic.” Essentially, Riedler has traveled the world seeking the authentic fake and in this series he gets us one step closer to seeing through the lies and empty promises of advertising and consumerism. These are the images that can only signal the end of the oil age and they stand as cultural relics of a time that has indeed come and will be very soon gone.

Also see his review at Flavorwire and his recent exhibition at Momentum Galerie, Vienna.

Published by


Scott Groeniger: Bio Scott Groeniger’s artwork primarily deals with issues concerning the role of the artist in political, social, and propaganda visualization. Much of his photographic work examines and critiques environmental issues such as urban sprawl and the development of the American residential landscape as well as the current environmental issues facing China. Groeniger has worked professionally as a graphic designer and photographer, however, more recently, he is incorporating more analogue materials and processes into his images. These new “drawings” are essentially a critique of the language of advertising. Groeniger appropriates images he finds in the environment and on the street and remixes the source material in order to investigate the contemporary cultural landscape. Groeniger also works in video and sound and has made many videos examining contemporary life in China. Recent exhibitions include: Open Source Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Honolulu Academy of Art, Honolulu, HI, Intrude Art 366: Shanghai, the Zizkov International Photography Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO, Hui Noʼeau Visual Arts Center, Maui, HI, Eyedrum Gallery in Atlanta, GA, Ad-Hoc Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, [5] Art Gallery in Ybor City, FL, The Residence Gallery, London, UK, The Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, CA, The Ping Yao International Photography festival in Shanxi Province, China, The International Guerrilla Video Festival (IGVFest) in Florence, Italy, the International Digital Media and Art Association iDEAs Exhibition in Orlando, FL, The Phebe Conley Gallery in Fresno, CA, and the Anita S. Wooten Gallery in Orlando, FL. Groeniger is an artist currently living in Honolulu, Hawaii and is an Assistant professor of Digital Imaging at The University of Hawaii at Manoa.