Philipp

Philipp Spiegel

b.1982

Philipp Spiegel is an Austrian writer, photographer, public speaker and artist based in Barcelona and Vienna. Having started his career in photojournalism and fashion photography, his HIV diagnosis shifted his main line of work onto subjects affiliated with HIV and sexuality.

Regularly writing for german- and english speaking publications, he addresses living with HIV as a heterosexual male as well as related aspects associated with HIV/AIDS in a broader context – be it travel restrictions, health issues or societal implications. A core topic in his writing is sexuality as a whole – subjects like masculinity, sex-positive behaviour or discrimination are often themes of his work.

Philipp Spiegels artwork uses HIV as a vehicle to address sexuality as a whole – stigmas, behavioural attitudes and its digitalisation. Allowing for intimacy in his work, he tries to grasp his symbiotic relationship with the virus using photography, installations and writing.

Since November 2019, Philipp Spiegel works also engages himself as a public speaker, where he talks about overcoming challenges imposed by an HIV diagnosis, be it of professional or personal nature. His lecture on “How HIV improved my sex-life” has received great attention in Germany and Switzerland.

Philipp Spiegel is an open pseudonym – allowing a differentiated approach and sheltering from discrimination still widely received. He continues his photography work under his real name “Christopher Klettermayer”.

1

HIV fascinates me.

With meticulous curiosity I reflect on the transformations caused and inspired by the HIV infection in my body in 2013. A unknown bond between my body and an alien entity forces me towards to view different perceptions of the concept of the self, emotional states and questions the fluid subjectivity of being. Intimacy: now, a concept interrupted by a foreign toxicity aligning with the closest entity of myself - my material body.

I confront stigmatizations, perceptions and dualities that persist around HIV and sexuality, related to shame, guilt and judgements. I challenge the views about HIV, its carriers and the socio-political re-construction of their bodies and behaviour, as an HIV-positive person in society still gets considered a danger, an illness, a guilt, the deconstructive other.

"What is the price for pleasure?" Edging with concepts of morality, mortality and sexual cleanliness, my work explores sexuality deemed as immoral, dangerous and perverse.

Through photography, video and installation, I aim to provoke a reflection of the ongoing vilified perceptions still embedded within the AIDS epidemic of the 1980ies and 90ies.

Contact

Work Experience

Since 2007: Photographer, Photojournalist and Teacher in Vienna, Barcelona

Specialised in Reportage- and Fashion-Photography – International productions and publications

Concept and production of Art-Projects and exhibiting in various venues and cities

Project management, conception and execution of international assignments in photojournalism, art- and fashion photography

Investigative Research with international NGOs

Assignments in: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Argentina, USA, Austria, Spain


Solo Exhibitions

February 2018 – "Going Viral", Offspace Vienna, Austria

2014 – Exhibition „Neighbours“, Barcelona, Spain

Group Exhibitions

11.10.2017 – Participant at the Salvatorian Charity Auction
Dorotheum Vienna

2015 – Finalist at the Sygenta Photography Awards „Scarcity Waste“; Exhibited at Somerset House, London / Centro Cultural, Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horzonte, Brasilien / Locarno, Italy

2012 – Group Exhibition „Trashed“ and „Villa 31“, La Escosesa, Barcelona

Education

Bachelor in Advertising and Marketing – Advertising Academy, Vienna
Focus on Marketing, PR and Graphic Design

Studies of Art History and Law
University of Vienna (200-2002)

Höhere Schule des Bundes Boerhaavegasse
A-Levels in Art and English (1998-2000)

Languages

English (Native)

German (Native)

Spanish (Advanced B1/B2)

French (Basic)