Since 2012, artist duo Jojakim Cortis (b. 1978, Germany) and Adrian Sonderegger (b. 1980, Switzerland), otherwise known by their shared name Cortis & Sonderegger, have been constructing exhaustive dioramas (a three-dimensional theatrical model) by hand of iconic photographs that balance between truth and fabrication. 

Photographs such as Robert Capa’s Falling Solider, Ansel Adams’ Moon and Half Dome, Joe Rosenthal’s Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima and Stuart Franklin’s Tiananmen Square are all etched into our collective memory and consequently have all been recreated by Cortis & Sonderegger. After each scrupulous scene is made, the pair photograph their creation including the materials, tools, structures and lighting that have conceived their trickery in the frame. By exposing their activities, the duo allow us to examine where the boundaries lie of perceived reality, how fiction can work in tandem with truth and what authenticity is in the photographic medium.


Jojakim Cortis & Adrian Sonderegger began their artistic collaboration during their studies of photography at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK) in 2005. Together they conceive and manufacture surreal worlds through their use of “staged” photography employing analogue techniques by hand. The artists live and work in Zurich, Switzerland.


"Cortis & Sonderegger’s works are characterized by a clear aesthetic diction. Their image tricks are satirically created, ingeniously staged and metaphorically back-filled. Objects and people take off, hover, fall, ... The trademark in their pictures is the fact that the impossible is nimble and playful, their photographic raw materials are simple fabrics, props and tools. The artificial structure with linkage and equipment, with reductions of foreground and background to an image scenery, with light and smoke machines etc. are often made transparent at the edges of the image... the two photographers make themselves known as the true inventors for their visual ideas."


Fritz Franz Vogel, PhD Photohistorian, Editor, Curator

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