Festival Images Vevey: une édition sous le signe de l’extravagance

Festival Images Vevey 2018 reveals an extravagant set on the Swiss Riviera

IMG_9118.jpgPhilippe Durand, Feu (au lac), ©Philippe Durand, Courtesy: Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris, Festival Images Vevey 2018, Photo ©oneARTlover

I like contradictions. We have never attained the infinite variety and contradictions that exist in nature. Tomorrow I shall contradict myself. That is the one way I have of asserting my liberty, the real liberty one does not find as a member of society.”
― Man Ray

For three weeks on the Swiss Riviera, the lakeside town of Vevey is brought into focus as the Festival Images Vevey Biennale opens its shutters for its 10th edition. Framed against lake and mountain, this year’s theme explores the idea of extravagance and possibilities beyond ordinary thought. From 8–30 September, this photogenic town on the shores of Lake Geneva is hosting extraordinary works by some of the best international artists and emerging talent leading the way in contemporary creative visual arts.

The festival which saw the light in 2008 has fast become an international fixture on the arts calendar where past editions have seen collaborations with Cindy Sherman, John Baldessari, Lee Friedlander, Martin Parr, Paul Fusco and the late René Burri. This year 58 artists from 19 countries are presenting public works in unique urban spaces. Mixing historic architecture, natural landscapes and innovative photography, the 2018 festival is an open-air showcase of contrasts where creative interpretation contradicts the norm, provoking double-takes and questions instinctive perception.

Visitors see French artist Philippe Durand merging fire with water in a 4-metre installation in Lake Geneva. Feu (au lac) uses lenticular imagery to capture primitive light form, recreating the movement of flames which, as the viewer passes by are rekindled from waves along the water’s surface. Another work Vallée des Merveilles 2replaces cave with concrete wall and a well-known cartoon mouse becomes modern-day parietal art. In a park, Lebowski and other Big Shots, monumental black and white stills by Jeff Bridges bring a touch of silver screen celebrity. Around a corner, Henry Leutwyler exposes fragility and flamboyance in Neverland Lost. A portrait of Michael Jackson, the de facto King of Extravagance.

Unusual locations enhance the numerous works; an empty former Droguerie provides the setting for a notable exhibition by Cristina De Middel & Kalev Erickson. Jungle Checkbased on a set of old polaroids discovered at a Mexican flea market transforms tropical nostalgia into modern artand their concertinaed lenticular screens are creativity extraordinaire. Along the main thoroughfare, Philippe Ramette defies gravity with his acrobatic performances captured by photographer Marc Domage. His Promenade irrationelletakes the artist on a perpendicular climb up a palm tree, convincingly proposing the world from a different point of view. And Jun Ahn’s vertiginous selfies flout good sense from the room of a hotel.

Incorporating the Grand Prix Images Vevey, a creation and support grant awarded every second year to an artist to develop an original photographic project, the festival presents previous winner’s works. 2017/2018 winner Peter Puklus shows The Hero Mother – How to Build a House, his exploration of male and female roles in the construction of the modern family through sculptural and performance-based photographic works. Angélique Stehli, last year selected for the Grand Prix’s Honourable Mention of the Broncolor lighting award chooses a former town prison for Pink Cells, her series of photographs from prison cell rooms painted in a specific shade of pink. Linking art and scientific research, the candy hues aim to calm and reduce aggression in inmates. Juxtaposed with Stehli’s confining brights, a monumental, monochrome carnival queen, symbol of liberty and extravagant costume by Cyril Porchet adorns the prison building façade.

Remarkable characters fraternize the town, intense, unwavering, out to make a statement. Jono Rotman’s New Zealand Mongrel gang members, fixed in primeval portrait reveal a hint of soulful determination, pride and loyalty to their cause. Look a little further along the promenade and there are tough…..angels? Claudia Schiffer….. as woman and man? And Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Art Camp? This festival edition is all about switching the ordinary with the extraordinary.

With performance art, audience participation, film, reportage, music and many other artists to discover, take a walk around this City of Images, an aperture into the unexpected where first appearances can be deceiving. And with eyes wide open look, linger a moment, leave and return to experience over again something extravagantly unique.

IMG_9934.jpgJeff Bridges, Jeff Bridges : Lebowski and other Big Shots © 1998 Jeff Bridges, Courtesy : Jeff Bridges Photography Archive. Festival Images Vevey 2018 Photo ©oneARTlover

IMG_9935.jpgJeff Bridges, Jeff Bridges : Lebowski and other Big Shots – Lebowski, The Stranger and The Dude, © 1998 Jeff Bridges, Courtesy : Jeff Bridges Photography Archive, Festival Images Vevey 2018 Photo ©oneARTlover

IMG_9949.jpgCristina de Middel & Kalev Erickson, Jungle Check © de Middel & Erickson Courtesy FOAM Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Festival Images Vevey 2018 Photo ©oneARTlover

IMG_9945.jpgCristina de Middel & Kalev Erickson, Jungle Check © de Middel & Erickson Courtesy FOAM Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Festival Images Vevey 2018, Photo ©oneARTlover

IMG_9941.jpgCristina de Middel & Kalev Erickson, Jungle Check © de Middel & Erickson Courtesy FOAM Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Festival Images Vevey 2018 Photo ©oneARTlover

IMG_8980.jpgPhilippe Ramette, “Promenade irrationnelle”, 2003, Photographie couleur, 150 x 120 cm, Photographe : Marc Domage, © Philippe Ramette, ADAGP, 2018/ProLitteris, Zurich, Courtesy Galerie Nippas, Festival Images Vevey 2018, Photo ©oneARTlover

IMG_9860.jpgJun Ahn “Self Portrait” © Jun Ahn / Courtesy Christophe Guye Galerie Festival Images Vevey 2018, Photo ©oneARTlover

IMG_9902.jpgAngélique Stehli, “Pink Cells”, 2013/2017, © Angélique Stehli, Courtesy ECAL/Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, Festival Images Vevey 2018, Photo ©oneARTlover

IMG_9944.jpgCyril Porchet, “Reina”, © Cyril Porchet, Festival Images Vevey 2018, Photo ©oneARTlover

IMG_9950.jpgFrédéric Nauczyciel, “Fireflies, Firefly # Justin Winston (Angels in America, With Father)”, © Frédéric Nauczyciel, Festival Images Vevey 2018 Photo ©oneARTlover

IMG_9951.jpgPachi Santiago, “Copying Claudia”, © Pachi Santiago, Festival Images Vevey 2018, Photo ©oneARTlover

IMG_9939.jpgOlivier Blanckart, XXth Century Lonely Art Camp – in extremis, © Olivier Blanckart, Courtesy Collection FRAC Poitou-Charentes, Festival Images Vevey 2018, Photo ©oneARTlover

Festival Images Vevey 2018
8–30 September
Every day from 11h-19h. Free entry.
For further information visit www.images.ch

Tout reproduction interdite
© www.arteez.ch 2018