Exhibition "Survival Camp" in Paris Photo
with Thomas Mailaender
The artist and the students spent a full week in complete isolation in a forest of the Wild West of Lausanne. Once over the shock of the lack of usual comforts such as running water, electricity or heating, the young photographers embraced this new lifestyle which fuelled their imagination, leading them to produce a huge number of images. Cooking over a wood fire, sleeping under the stars, hunting and fishing became their everyday life and an enabling environment for visual experiments. The responses were varied, from still images to moving images, with some directly depicting contemporary delirious camping, while others flirt with historical reminiscences of the camps of the Great War. But one thing all works have in common is an offbeat sense of humour. During Paris Photo, the outcome is presented as an installation in an unusual place in an urban setting, Les Voûtes. After the one-week workshop in Switzerland all students worked with Thomas Mailaender on the design and set-up of the exhibition. The installation was a week of full immersion for the students, as they lived in the exhibition while setting it up. The images are displayed in a raw environment, a sort of village or makeshift camp. All this allowed them to go beyond the process of taking shots to tackle the issue of the production and exhibition of these images to the public. The exhibition is accompanied by a duotone catalogue-newspaper produced by the students and printed at ECAL.