┐ Augustin Rebetez, from joy to colera └

GP Rebetezaugustin_rebetez-sans_titre001_largeAugustin Rebetez01

“Augustin Rebetez breathes energy in his works. He has developed a very ownable style over a very short period of time, even though this is not easy to put in a box. With a combination of free and staged photography using his immediate surroundings, he constantly surprises with his work. Augustin is not afraid to cross over with sculpture, film, photography and even drawings. He is one of the rare new and raw talents that the world of photography is waiting for. The fact that he studied in Vevey and lives in the region came as a pleasant surprise for the international jury. The proposed project will be a very welcome catalyst to further develop his creative madness.” excerpt from the statement of this year’s Vevey award.


Augustin’s website here and his vimeo channel here

┐ Ugo Rondinone – I don’t live here anymore └

© Ugo Rondinone, all Untitled, from the series I don’t live here anymore, 1996

“My discovery of Rondinone dates back to a sexy picture I noticed in Flash Art in the mid-1990s, of what I took to be a seductive model revealing a glimpse of appealing cleavage. I hadn’t actually meant to stop at the image, but biology had taken over, as it does. But wait a second. There was something weird about this girl. Why was she so swarthy? And wasn’t that a moustache on her upper lip? Someone had digitally transferred his head onto a photograph of an alluring model and seamlessly confused the two to create an unsettling self-portrait that wobbled between masculinity and femininity as frantically as a woofer.

So that was Ugo Rondinone. Except it wasn’t. A few months later, in Flash Art, he had another show. This time, what stopped me was a gorgeous set of abstract paintings, circles of coloured fog of such exciting brightness that the page seemed to throb. They reminded me of Kenneth Noland’s work: Rothko in the round. Who did these, I wondered? They’re fabulous. It was Rondinone.

Except, of course, it wasn’t. A few Flash Art issues later, I noticed some mad-looking drawings, skilfully achieved with Indian ink, of knotted trees, tossing and turning in the landscape as if they couldn’t get to sleep; and forest clearings writhing with unease, like an angler’s worms. An installation shot showed them to be wall-sized. Weird, I thought. Who did them? Oh, no. It was Rondinone.

As the years wore on, and the 20th century seeped into the 21st, it kept happening. Something in Flash Art would catch my eye, and it would turn out to be by Ugo Rondinone. It was never the same thing twice. Video, photography, painting, sculpture, sound pieces, projections, performance, comic stuff, serious stuff, things with him in them, things with nobody in them — you just couldn’t tell.

So the news that this one-man studio of artists was finally getting a British showing at the Whitechapel came as a blessed relief. I had expected to be put out of my confusion, and finally to be able to grasp who and what Rondinone was. But I was being optimistic.

The Whitechapel show is called Zero Built a Nest in My Navel, which is not a title that gives much away. The line is taken from one of the haikus that Rondinone apparently writes every day, and which take the place of a diary for him.

A few examples are scattered about the walls of his Whitechapel installation, written in white on old bits of wood, of the sort you find washed up on beaches. Here’s an example: Fold back/my love/as you did/my sheets.

Here’s another: Air gets/into everything/even nothing.

While you’re solving these etymological sudokus (clue: there is no solution), I will run a few pertinent biographical facts past you. Rondinone was born in Switzerland in 1964, of Italian parents, so flexibility was his birthright. He studied in Vienna and spent his early career collaborating with the notorious Austrian performance artist Hermann Nitsch, who is probably the most gory artist there has ever been. Nitsch showered himself in blood as if it were bath water. From him, Rondinone would have learnt that life is messy, red, angry, scary, wet and violent. We can safely assume that everything he has done since should be viewed as an attempt to get over the trauma of Nitsch.” excerpt of the article Painter? Poet? Photographer?, by Waldemar Januszczak. continue reading here

┐ Erwan Frotin └

© Erwan Frotin, Pain à Pieds Bleus, from the series Sketch, 2006

© Erwan Frotin, Perdreau Fantôme, from the series Sketch, 2006

More of Erwan’s weird “species” here work here

┐ David Gagnebin └

@ David Gagnebin, after Une Saleté from Frédérique Clémençon, from the project Correspondences

@ David Gagnebin, after Legenden from Händl Klaus, from the project Correspondences

an interview conducted by photographer Emmanuelle Bayart (in french) here

More of David’s work here

┐ Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs └

@ Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, untitled, from the seriesLight of other days, 2009


@ Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, untitled, from the seriesLight of other days, 2009


In “End of an Era” Onorato and Krebs continue to explore the nature of perception, a theme that also distinguishes their most well-known photographic series to date, “The Great Unreal,” produced during their travels through the US. Their illusionistic visual universes and installations thrive on the interplay between the visible and invisible nature of illusion and the encounter of reality and the imagination.
The exhibited photographs and installations reflect the ambivalent role of photography on one hand as a documentary medium used to depict reality and on the other hand as an artistic instrument for the creation of new, dream-like imaginary worlds. The exhibition title “End of an Era” refers to the value of analogue image production, the end of which is constantly being prophesied, particularly since the demise of the pioneer of photography, Kodak.(…)

from here

Their work, very much worth exploring, can be found here

┐ Shirana Shahbazi └

© Shirana Shahbazi, Mercedes, from the series Flowers, fruits, portraits, 2008

© Shirana Shahbazi, Stilleben, from the series Flowers, fruits, portraits, 2008

Echoing statements by Roland Barthes, Shahbazi commented recently, “Photography is a simple, stupid medium.”2 In fact, photography is dumbfounding; it communicates in a purely visual language. Yet, without a frame to contextualize these visions, photography fails to speak.
Most recently for Shahbazi, that context has been the normalized cultural forms of photography, those genre images of landscape, portrait, and still life whose history lies less with photography than with painting. Yet her photographs draw our attention to the limits of those genres. With the still lifes, Shahbazi takes her cue from seventeenth-century Dutch painting, capturing natural curiosities: orchids, minerals, fruits, vegetables, and so on. Unlike her Dutch predecessors, however, she presents these vignettes floating on a monochromatic background, excised from their origins as Protestant images of exoticism. The portraits and landscapes are haunted by similar displacements. In Shahbazi’s hands, portraits of certain individuals are repeated throughout a larger sequence. Each portrait is taken from a slightly different angle. Across these movements, the viewer becomes uncertain if the artist or the sitter has changed position; identities become confused, and the photographic portrait’s sense for capturing individuality is exiled across a series of photographic events. The landscapes from Meanwhile, in contrast, are less subjective than placeless. To borrow a term used by German photographer Michael Schmidt to describe the places that he has photographed, the landscapes in Shahbazi’s photographs are irgendwo (somewhere), thus lacking particularity.3 While we cannot deny the indexical nature of her landscape photographs, we are also struck by how their sense of place escapes specificity. Despite engaging a history of representational imagery that spans many media, Shahbazi, in her use of these genre images, displaces painting’s subjectivity and historicity for photography’s immediacy.

excerpt from Chris Balaschak’s text. Full version at hammer.ucla.edu

More of Shirana’s work can be seen at gallery Bob Van Orsouw.

║ Emmanuelle Antille ║

© Emmanuelle Antille, at the Leu Family’s Family Iron, from the series Leu Family’s Family Iron, 2007

© Emmanuelle Antille, Family Portrait, from the series Leu Family’s Family Iron, 2007

║ Elisa Larvego ║

© Elisa Larvego, Av. Devin-du-Village, from the series Mises à part, 2006

© Elisa Larvego, Salle de classe des Beaux-Arts, from the series Mises à part, 2006

“Ce travail est une tentative de projection de mon imaginaire dans des espaces urbains qui m’interpellent. Ces lieux deviennent des sortes de décors à mes mises en scènes, interagissant avec les figurants. Ces espaces m’attirent soit pour leurs aspects de naturel construit (ou d’artifice naturel), soit pour leur rapport ambigu entre loisir et violence. Je souhaite intriguer et instaurer le doute chez le spectateur sur la vrai-semblance des images en montrant tout l’artifice qui peut se cacher derrière une photographie à l’apparence trompeuse. Mes images sont entièrement construites afin de servir mon propos, je ne suis pas seulement spectatrice du monde extérieure. Je recrée une sorte de monde imagé où l’être humain n’est pas toujours à la place qu’on attend, ni en train de faire une action dite sensée. Mon but est de créer une tension tangible dans mes images, comme si on assistait à l’instant précédant la tragédie. Mes photographies évoluent entre absurdité et gravité. Je recherche à créer des actions figées dans une sorte de suspens crée par l’expression des visages et des corps. Les dissonances sont voulues afin de suggérer une narration possible, un avant et un après l’image. Début, fin ou suite d’une histoire à s’inventer.”

More of Elisa’s work here

║ David Favrod ║

© David Favrod, Untitled, from the series Gaijin, 2009

© David Favrod, Untitled, from the series Gaijin, 2009

“It is from this feeling of rejection and also from a desire to prove that I am as Japanese as I am Swiss that this work was created. “Gaijin” is a fictional narrative, a tool for my quest for identity, where self-portraits imply an intimate and solitary relationship that I have with myself. The mirror image is frozen in a figurative alter ego that serves as an anchor point.”

excerpt from statement

To see more of David’s work click here

║ Virginie Rebetez ║

© Virginie Rebetez, Untitled, from the series Flirting with Charon, 2008


©  Virginie Rebetez, Untitled, from the series Flirting with Charon, 2008 

“(In collaboration with Dienst Werk en Inkomen) 

«Flirting with Charon» was made inside houses whose owners recently died. DWI organizes the funerals of people who died socially isolated. Through them I was able to visit these places. 

Being interested in the holy aspect of these interiors and their memories, I played with our projection on them and touched their invisible borders. I used myself as a bridge to create a continuation of these dying memories.” 

More of Virginie’s work can be seen here 


║ Thomas Rousset ║

© Thomas Rousset, Untitled, from the series Prabérians, 2009

© Thomas Rousset, Untitled, from the series Prabérians, 2009

“Prabérians takes roots in a dialogue between my rural origins and my creative process as a photographer.
These images came out of a fantasy; that of a fictive rural community, lost in space and time, evolving in a dream-like French countryside. My photographs are not following a defined narration; every mise-en-scène rather tries to rebuild my memories of a rural world where the farmers’ routine is confronted with the most exotic archetypes of the peasant life.The real world is my inspiration. I make photographs with the inhabitants of my village and their animals and re-locate them in a floating reality that is timeless, unlikely and intriguing; a reality that is a blend of a raw normality and absurd exuberance.”

Really worth seeing!!!

More of Thomas’ work can be seen here

║ Matthieu Gafsou ║

© Matthieu Gafsou, Untitled #5, from the series Corruptions

© Matthieu Gafsou, Untitled #17, from the series Corruptions

“Corruptions aurait pu être un projet documentaire centré sur un bout de France, ouvrier, qui a subi l’effondrement de l’industrie du textile. Un travail d’initiation, dans la tradition stylistique de mes maîtres.

Les images d’une telle série n’auront jamais vu le jour. La conjugaison de mon inexpérience et de la maladresse d’un technicien a eu pour issue une altération profonde des négatifs, rendant les images totalement inexploitables pour le projet que j’ambitionnais alors de présenter. Une partie des négatifs, sous le coup de la frustration et de la colère, a fini au rebut. Le reste, fétiche amputé, a attendu dans un placard.

Il a fallu du temps pour que je saisisse la richesse de ce matériau dont je croyais qu’il était corrompu. Il a fallu peut-être apprendre à saisir un peu mieux les enjeux d’une démarche artistique, sa fragilité, sa soumission à l’accidentel malgré toutes les précautions, les intentions.

Car plus que de la mémoire des lieux, c’est la mémoire en elle-même que ces négatifs questionnent tout comme, et c’est un corollaire, le pouvoir de la photographie à fabriquer des souvenirs, à construire un passé teinté d’imaginaire dont les traces participent de la construction de l’individu et de la mémoire collective.

Mes Corruptions n’évoquent donc plus seulement le passé de lieux qui ont subi les outrages d’un bouleversement économique, d’une histoire locale, de péripéties. L’ici et le maintenant, l’anecdotique, s’en sont allés avec la précision de ces images, réalisées à la chambre. La mémoire devient le vrai sujet des images, la mémoire comme faculté de se souvenir mais aussi comme action de tronquer, de façon non intentionnelle, ce qui fut.

A ce titre, la photographie, considérée comme métaphore de la mémoire, est exemplaire. Elle en est même devenue l’outil, manière de fixer des souvenirs mais aussi de construire la fiction de nos vies. Et mes images, menacées de disparition par un accident, tronquées, infidèles, sont une façon de formuler les trahisons de la mémoire, les pièces manquantes, les raccommodages inconscients qui forgent les abris de nos histoires et de l’Histoire avec un grand H – pour autant que celle-ci existe bel et bien, ce dont je me plais à douter.”

More of Matthieu’s work can be seen here

║ Catherine Leutenegger ║


© Catherine Leutenegger, Untitled, from the series Welcome home baby, 2008


© Catherine Leutenegger, Untitled, from the series Welcome home baby, 2008


© Catherine Leutenegger, Untitled, from the series Welcome home baby, 2008

“Welcome Home Baby is a serie of “So Truly Real Baby Dolls”. They are realistic newborn collectible dolls.”

Catherine Leutenegger

To see more of Catherine’s work click here

║ Alfio Tommasini ║


© Alfio Tommasini, from the series Antonio & Paloma


© Alfio Tommasini, from the series Antonio & Paloma


© Alfio Tommasini, from the series Antonio & Paloma

“Another day dawns on the Manzanares river. In the midst of houses, bridges, construction sites, a beer factory and a soccer stadium there is a container where Antonio and Paloma have lived for the last three years. A Spanish-Gipsy couple that came to Madrid from Asturias in the beginning of the nineties, in the search of a new life.
Antonio is 53 years old. His days are marked by the sunbeams, he has breakfast, tidies up himself and then he goes to work. He walks along Madrid his smile and his car full of scrap. Antonio is man of routine; he peddles his wares in the small street-markets all
morning and then goes home after a trip, perhaps to recover the lost levity.

Paloma is 43 years old, and, like Antonio, she makes each day as it comes. She is a housewife, one of whose principal duties is care of his husband, beside to wait him anxiously when he’s gone. In the afternoon, she rests at his side and spends hours as participant and spectator to her favourite soap operas. They have 4 children to whom every night they devote their last thought before falling asleep.

I was seeking different mode of living in the city and a glimmer that could bring to a new human relation. Destiny and luck brought me to a place where two people have opened their selves and their home to me and where time has made a strong bond of friendship. An environment, sometimes difficult, but always full of tenderness and simplicity. I have spent days and nights with them, in a space so small that it creates its own sense of intensity and intimacy.
A home that is custom made, like maybe all homes, where the quality of life depends on how you live it, and Antonio and Paloma have a love that reaches beyond the space where they open their eyes every morning.”

Alfio Tommasini

To see more of Alfio’s work click here