Sascha Weidner’s artistic approach is a reflection of the great freedom and independence that characterize his thinking, as well as of his curiosity and humility towards the structures that surround us. Using a visual language that is both clear and idiosyncratic, and completely devoid of pretence or exaggeration, his camera focuses on natural or constructed environments, the people that inhabit them and the objects they manufacture. To continually permit oneself a fresh view of the reality that one encounters, to appreciate its beauty and transience and to emphatically capture it in photographic images or in series of works, therein lies the extraordinary quality of the oeuvre of this solitary mind and a testament to its unique poetological power.
In light of the thematic focus of Entrepreneur 4.0, the jury is convinced that in such a competition it is artistic autonomy that should be rewarded: Sascha Weidner’s images bear witness to working without a safety net and demonstrate a great willingness to take risks in his personal quest for images. Reversal (or inversion) is one of Sascha Weidner’s prominent themes, present in all of his works and thus also in “Hanami”- here his deep respect for the surrounding environment and the finitude of its material and immaterial resources is revealed. Despite its idiosyncrasy, Sascha Weidner’s oeuvre speaks directly to the viewer: he is an artist, who wants to communicate and share experiences by means of his photographic work. He knows how to guide the viewer’s gaze across the surfaces of his images and to thereby, in wonderful fashion, draw attention to the singularity of our world.
The jury would like to make particular note of the competition organiser’s decision to invite the students of the Ostkreuzschule Berlin to participate in the junior prize, as the latter is an exceptional school of photography, whose work deserves more international recognition. Most notable in the works submitted by these junior photographers and artists is the variety of photographic approaches, which attests to the quality of this educational establishment in its accommodation and promotion of different styles and perspectives. It therefore made sense not to merely select one winner from all the submissions, but to award prizes to three students, all of whom have a different methodological approach, such as documentation/reportage (Julia Runge), production (Bastian Gehbauer) and installation (Mara Ploscaru).