After working in social education at the age of 21, Ruben Wyttenbach went on to study free art at the F+F School of Art and Media Design in Zurich. He later studied documentary photography at the MAZ in Lucerne. In 2020, he earned a Master’s in Contemporary Arts Practice from Bern University of the Arts. He is a member of “Near,” a Lausanne-based photography network, and of the Zurich-based photography agency “13photo.” He has been teaching photography in adult education since 2018.
Ruben has been working on freelance commissions since 2007. His portraits and pictures have appeared in major magazines, newspapers and annual reports, in Switzerland and Europe. His subjects include federal councillors, the Swiss business elite as well as international politicians and people in the arts and culture. He also works for many corporate agencies and companies in various businesses and industries.
Hier Einschlagen. Forum A, MA Cap HKB Bern, Group Exhibition
Etwas ist nicht so wie ich es mir vorstelle. Forum A, MA Cap HKB Bern, Group Exhibition
Photoprice Canton of Bern 2013, Group Exhibition, Nomination
Photo 13, Maag Hall, Zürich, Group Exhibition
Swiss Press Photo 2012, Landesmuseum Zürich, Group Exhibition
Photo 11, Maag Hall, Zürich, Group Exhibition
Photo 10, Maag Hall, Zürich, Group Exhibition
POP, Black Box Aarau, Group Exhibition
Behind The Line, Black Box Aarau, Group Exhibition
Grant, Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz. For the Projekt «Courant Normal, das künstlerische Selfie»
Grant, Wettbewerbes tête à tête des Amtes für Kultur Kanton Bern. For the Projekt «Courant Normal, das künstlerische Selfie»
Grant, Projektförderung des Kantons Bern für Fotografie. For the Book Projekt «Strand am Berg»
Strand am Berg
What forms of narrative and documentation can do justice to a project characterized by constant change? It is impossible to survey the whole, draw a representative map or establish a universal chronology. Instead, individual stories, personal statements and subjective images are like multiple facets contributing their part to the bigger picture. Their function is exemplary rather than special – appearing as if selected by chance, dredged to the surface or washed upon the shore. What about the bigger picture they evoke, the Heitere Fahne– is it a place, a location, a building, or a shared idea?
The images were taken over a period of three years, on the margins of the main action. The participants’ thoughts, recorded as short written notes, reveal vision and delusion, utopia and reality, pleasure and despair of this intensive experiment to turn a collective dream into reality. The guest house in Wabern near Bern – origin of local craft beer and later a pub attached to the former “Gurten-Brewery” – became a potent symbol of an experiment dedicated to a collective site for culture. The images and texts act like snapshots: atmospheric impressions with distinct shutter speeds, depths of focus and angles. They are traces; personal and subjective references to a whole, not requiring any interpretation. As fragments, they suggest the diversity and complexity of such a participatory undertaking.
Courant Normal, founded by Ruben Wyttenbach was selected as part of the tête-à-tête competition of the Cultural Promotion of the Canton of Bern in cooperation with the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation. The innovation project is supported by Health Promotion Switzerland and the City of Nidau. A project by Ruben Wyttenbach and Benjamin Sunarjo.