Gerrit Rietveld Academie graduate Mathias Ringgenberg trained in graphic design but, since leaving education, has expanded his practice into disciplines rarely associated with traditional design. Equally comfortable laying out a magazine for high-end fashion publications as he is putting together a performative piece for a live audience, it’s this willingness to experiment and broaden the scope of his work that sets him apart from his peers.
Also notable are the conceptual avenues he likes to pursue, creating work that questions as much as it communicates. In his recent project Take Me I Am Yours Mathias explores the sexually repressed culture prevalent in football and a minority of players unable to discuss their sexuality. “This series of images point to an underlying theme in the world of soccer. A minority of players live restricted lives, due to their sexual orientation. The applied quotes and reviews attempt to give new meaning to the selected images.”
Currently Mathias is looking to expand this short project into a collaboration between authors, designers and other contributors, aiming to tackle the issue head-on. “They may be gay”, he says “but they aren’t allowed to say.” Intrigued by the breadth of Mathias’ work and the weight of his concepts we stopped by to say hello.
Where do you work?
I am based in Zürich, Switzerland. Today I’m at the Studio of Nora Halpern and Julia Künzi (I don’t have my own studio).
How does your working day start?
Radio music, green tea, checking mails and reading news.
How do you work and how has that changed?
I work more independently now on collaborations in which I choose the client. I stopped doing internships to pursue my own interests. For a year I’ve worked in a more physical way by creating performances such as Cover, Cover Girl that I performed at the Kunsthalle Bern in collaboration with Nils Amadeus Lange and Vincent Heppner.
Where would we find you when you’re not at work?
Traveling to see my friends all over the world. Being with my Family in Biel/Bienne, or spending time with my boyfriend in the forest.
Would you intern for yourself?
Of course not! Don’t do internships, just work hard and get on your own way!