Posted on | September 19, 2012


I just visited the most fascinating photography festival, located in VEVEY, Switzerland, along Lake Geneva.

What was so great about it?
The art work wasn’t only displayed indoors but changed the look of Vevey, a cute little village of approx. 20,000 inhabitants at Lake Geneva, about an hour train ride from Geneva. The view from the village shore onto lake Geneva and the surrounding mountains is breathtaking.


The artists whose work is still displayed until September 30 this year have one thing in common: they surprise the public by exhibiting in unusual places while building previously unseen displays, thus REINVENTING THE CITY.


Here are my favourite pieces:



This chameleon-like artist who melts into his photographs’ backgrounds. He presented 10 very large format images from his Hiding in the City series. With his camouflage, he attempts to render visible the invisible and to raise awareness about how the Chinese government oppresses artists. They are often forced to disappear.




presents Cascade: a print which creates a poetic space combining dreams and reality. Sheets of plastic in a forest create the perception of a waterfall. Chamber and Vestibule, from the series Haven Her Body Was.


Les Baigneurs show images taken of people in bathing costumes. The photographs, taken from above, are presented on tarpaulin sheets laid on the ground. They are fragments of daily poetry and are hyper realistic representations of human familiarity; the exhibition, through its irony, is also a critique of the perception of mass culture.


ACKROYD & HARVEY (United Kingdom)
merge photography and biology in their work. Photosynthesis replaces the traditional film developing method to reveal portraits containing colours ranging from yellow to green, depending on the exposure time. These images are exhibited indoors to preserve their delicate nature. Throughout the Festival they will gradually deteriorate, highlighting the effect of time on the environment and on our images.



MENTALGASSI (Deutschland)

When creating their work, the starting point for this art collective from Berlin/Hamburg is to transform an ordinary public space. Just as a child looks for dragons or faces among the clouds or on tree trunks, these artists regularly transfigure urban objects into fantasy characters. For the Festival Images they went all over the city to create aSurprise art installation which you will have to spot, just as they do when they imagine a face in what the public only sees as a container.


VHILS (Portugal)

Scratching the Surface is the work title of VHILS’ art. How does he do it? At first he projects an image onto the wall and traces its outline. Using chisels, acid, a pneumatic drill, explosives and other methods of this type, he then destroys the various layers of the walls to create sculptures of faces.



Sohei Nishino took over 6500 photographs of the city of Bern between mid-February and mid-March 2012. The map of the Swiss capital, produced for the Festival, is the 13th work in the Diorama Map series. “A Diorama map is anything but an accurate map, it is a trace of the way in which I walked through a town, an embodiment of my awareness, a microcosm of the life and energy that comprises the city”, says Nishino.



sees photography as material. He photographs an object (one often associated with consumerism) from every angle, before gathering the 10 x 15 cm prints by folding and stapling them, thus recreating its volume to scale. His creation Escalator, commissioned by Festival Images, reconstitutes old escalators from the city’s former shopping centre and is therefore a glimpse of yesteryear when this department store was an essential amenity for Vevey’s inhabitants.



ORILO (Argentina)

Orilo uses this artform in his series Alter by creating life-sized figurines of himself in various poses and situations. He exhibits these photographic clones on top of trees in cities or other high-up places. These incongruous characters evoke the fragile nature of experiences we have had, but also plays on the strange feeling passers-by experience on seeing these effigies. By setting up these improbable scenes, Orilo humourously points out the banal nature of our daily behaviour.



ELLA & PITR (France)

Their project of frames, entitled Là, which takes over the city centre, relies on public participation.



These two installations remained from ‘Images 2010’ – the city decided to keep them due to the positive response of the city’s inhabitants.



We’ll be back in Vevey 2014. If you like photography and appreciate the beauty of nature, so should you.