21 September 2010
Vevey’s ‘Images’ festival celebrates photography in and out of the gallery
During September, the Swiss town of Vevey has been host to ‘Images’, its second festival of photography, writes Simon Esterson. The exhibitions spread throughout the small town, not only inhabiting an old supermarket as the main venue, but also spilling out into the streets, taking over Vevey’s squares, advertising hordings and the sides of buildings for giant billboard-sized images.
Suddenly in public spaces bland advertising images are replaced by provocative contemporary photography: the Iranian photographer Shadi Ghadirian uses everyday objects to make a commentary on images of women in Islamic society (above), while Matt Siber photographs urban scenes and then removes all the lettering, floating it like a cloud of visual dust next to the type-free retouched image (below).
Inside the main interior exhibition space, the Ex-EPA, six floors of photography and video are installed in the concrete shell of a deserted supermarket. Emergency lighting, raw voids in the building and fluorescent graphics create an edgy, unfinished space which is much more exciting than any slick, contemporary gallery.
Among the works on display are the joint winners of the 2010 Vevey photography prize: G. M. B. Akash’s images of child workers in Bagladesh, ‘Born to Work’ (above), and Christian Lutz’s series ‘Tropical Gift’ documenting the impact of the oil and gas industry on Nigeria (below).
‘Images’ ends on Sunday 26 September 2010, images.ch.
Eye 73 is a photography issue; the forthcoming Autumn issue of Eye (no. 77) will include extensive features on photography and publishing.
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