The Hobbyist

The Hobbyist

Fotomuseum Winterthur

Ari Marcopoulos, from Directory, 2011. © Ari Marcopoulos.

September 4, 2017
The Hobbyist
Hobbies, Photography and the Hobby of Photography
September 9, 2017–January 28, 2018
Vernissage: September 8, 6–9pm
Fotomuseum Winterthur
Grüzenstrasse 44 + 45
CH-8400 Winterthur
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm,
Wednesday 11am–8pm
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What happens when photographers and artists incorporate hobbies into their work as a means of challenging artistic practices and hierarchies? How do hobbyists describe their passions photographically, not least today in our era of digital communication and online blogs? This is the first major exhibition to explore the relationship between photography and hobby culture, both in connection to photography of hobbies and also photography as a hobby practice.

The exhibition The Hobbyist examines, in five chapters, what a hobby might be in an age when our notions of private and social spheres have shifted due to the impact of the internet. Could the digital era spell the end of the hobby culture? Or have the likes of YouTube and media-related developments in photography actually given it a new lease of life? Against this backdrop, the exhibition looks at the phenomenon of the hobby and reflects on its multiple layers of meaning within the seemingly contradictory spheres of leisure and work, ideology and consumerism, amateurism and professionalism.

From the hippie and avant-garde cultures of the 1960s to the DIY craze of the 1980s and today’s maker movement, The Hobbyist explores the specific places in which hobbies are pursued, and considers aspects of their commercialisation in terms of consumer and lifestyle aspirations. By way of documents from the early 1970s, such as the iconic Whole Earth Catalog, the exhibition looks back on the countercultures of that era, the hippiedom and the nascent computer community, which produced the prototypical tools that would, within the space of just two generations, shape a future where their groundbreaking innovations have become an integral part of daily life. The fact that hobbies embody a passionate and ritualised form of enthusiasm is amply illustrated by the content and scope of the photographic works whose creators often operate on the boundary between documentarian and hobbyist, expert and amateur, probing the ways in which photography relates to some very quirky, offbeat and eagerly pursued hobbies.

Kindly supported by Tarbaca Indigo Foundation and the Friends’ Association Fotomuseum Winterthur. Further support by Volkart Foundation, Ringier AG, Ria & Arthur Dietschweiler Foundation, Olga & Ernst Gubler-Hablützel Foundation and Dr. Georg and Josi Guggenheim Foundation.

The Hobbyist is curated by Pierre Hourquet, Anna Planas and Thomas Seelig. The exhibition will be accompanied by a magazine (in German and English) published by Spector Books, containing interviews with artists, short anecdotal texts and in-depth essays, i.e. by Theodor W. Adorno, Olivia Baeriswyl, Jeremy Deller/Alan Kane, Thilo Koenig, Neozoon, Evgeny Morozov and Therese Steffen.

With works of:
Kenneth Anger, Diane Arbus, Benedikt Bock, Mohamed Bourouissa, Chris Burden, Ricardo Cases, Bruce Davidson, David De Beyter, Jeremy Deller/Alan Kane, Glen Denny, Jeff Divine, Craig Fineman, Robert Frank, Fuzi, Alberto García-Alix, William Gedney, Kirill Golovchenko, Carol Goodden/Gordon Matta-Clark/Tina Girouard/Suzanne Harris/Rachel Lew, Volker Heinze, Stephanie Kiwitt, Les Krims, Mike Mandel, Ari Marcopoulos, Eva & Franco Mattes, Hana Miletić, Neozoon, Simone Nieweg, Jenny Odell, Bill Owens, Lotte Reimann, Alexander Remnev, Cosmos Andrew Sarchiapone, Eckhard Schaar, Joachim Schmid, Oliver Sieber, Alec Soth and Xiaoxiao Xu

A comprehensive events programme relating to The Hobbyist features DIY workshops, discussions and performative readings, which will address further aspects of leisure and hobby culture.

Sunday, September 10, 11:30am
Artist talk: Benedikt Bock, Ricardo Cases and Hana Miletić in conversation with the curators (in English)

Saturday, September 23, 4–11pm
Mobile t-shirt exhibition: Winterthur’s associations are invited to present their hobbies within the scope of Kulturnacht Winterthur

Sunday, October 8, 11am
Early bird workshop: Kids and Hobbies. For children aged 5–9 (registration required)

Sunday, October 15, 1:30pm
Critical talk: What happened to the Hobby?
Sociologist Ueli Mäder in conversation with Erec Gellautz (in German)

Sunday, October 22, 1:30pm
Book launch: Mapping Hong Kong’s Bet on Greed
Volker Heinze in conversation with Wolfgang Ullrich (in German)

Saturday, October 28, 4pm
Reading and slideshow: Bis Morgen im Nassen by Lotte Reimann (in English)

Tuesday–Friday, October 31–November 3, daily 2–5pm,
on Wednesday also 10am–1pm
Workshop: “PAPERBACK—a short story in pictures“ with Lotte Reimann. For classes, groups of students or individuals (aged 13+, registration required) 

Sunday, November 5, 10am–6pm
Portrait event: Among the photographers of this year’s photo shoot event hosted by the Friends’ Association Fotomuseum Winterthur, Alberto García-Alix and Lotte Reimann will take portraits exclusively of “bikers“ and people in “wetlook.“ Sign up for your extraordinary family portrait: verein [​at​]

Friday, November 10, 7–9pm
Reception: The Hobbyist at the offspace Temple, Paris
Fotomuseum as a guest in the French capital, November 9–11. For further information see

Sunday, November 12, 11:30am
Demo-talk: Drones as a Hobby. Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin in conversation with a hobbyist drone pilot

Sunday, November 19, 11am–2pm and 3–6pm
Workshops: Do-It-Yourself with Flo Kaufmann (for ages 13+, registration required) 

Saturday, December 2, 4–6pm
Screening: „Amateurs in Film and Films by Amateurs“. Program by Kinemathek Lichtspiel Bern and open screen for hobbyist filmmakers, in cooperation with Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur

Sunday, December 10

Workshop: 3D-printing in cooperation with Fablab Winti (registration required)

Open house: Lithophane in 3D-printing, in cooperation with Fablab Winti

Sunday, January 7, 11:30am
Demo-talk: Virtual Reality
Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin in conversation with game designers Daniel Gonçalves and Patrik Toth about their game The Cathartic Escape (in German)

Saturday, January 20, 4pm 
Artist talk: Ari Marcopoulos in conversation with Katharina Zimmermann (in English)

Sunday, January 21, 11:30am
Critical talk: What’s up, YouTubers?
Cultural and media scholar Dominik Landwehr in conversation with young YouTubers

Tuesday–Friday, January 23–26, daily 10am–1pm
Workshop: “FANZINE“ with Ari Marcopoulos. For classes, groups of students or individuals (aged 12+, registration required) 

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Fotomuseum Winterthur
September 4, 2017

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