Christian Lutz

Anatomy of Power

In collaboration with Rencontres d’Arles

July 5 – November 4, 2018

Christian Lutz, Tel Aviv Airport, Israel, Transfer to Switzerland, Sunday 18 September 2005, 3.30 pm, 2007, photographie, collection de l’artiste © Christian Lutz

Christian Lutz, Federal Palace, Bern, Switzerland, Parliamentary sessions. Subject: Discussion of a parliamentary proposal on family policy, Tuesday 15 March 2005, 10.30 am, 2007, photographie, collection de l’artiste © Christian Lutz

Christian Lutz, Ellis Island, New York, USA, Saturday 29 July 2006, 11 am, 2007, photographie, collection de l’artiste © Christian Lutz

For the third successive year the Collection Lambert is joining forces with Grand Arles Express (Rencontres d’Arles) to present the work of Swiss artist Christian Lutz in Avignon.

Whether venturing behind the scenes of international politics, exposing the damaging impact of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry or immersing himself in the everyday life of an evangelical community, photographer Christian Lutz gets to the very heart of power relations. Subtly blending documentary aesthetic with reflection, he depicts living beings within the apparatuses of power “in which they are incessantly captured”, in the words of Giorgio Agamben. He observes a dysfunctional world with a unique, poetic distance that veers away from traditional documentary photography to evoke instead the masters of classical painting.

The exhibition at the Collection Lambert brings together three series of photographs drawn from Christian Lutz’s Trilogy on power. The first instalment is Protokoll, created between 2003 and 2007, in which Lutz shadows delegations from the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs and highlights the role-plays, uniforms and decorum attached to political and diplomatic representation, revealing the theatricality inherent in the exercise of power.

Produced in 2009 and 2010, Tropical Gift investigates the hellish nature of the oil and gas business in Nigeria, deconstructing a system in which luxury and corruption exist side by side with deprivation, misery and violence. For the In Jesus’ Name series (2011–2012), Christian Lutz goes inside the International Christian Fellowship (ICF), an evangelical community based in Zurich. He photographs everyday goings-on – celebrations, baptisms, dinners, summer camps – with the full agreement of the movement’s founders and representatives. However a dispute over image rights prevents him from distributing the book that results from this extensive project. The photographs continue to circulate, bearing the marks of censorship: a black banner across them quoting the complaints as set out by the plaintiffs’ lawyer.

Knusa / Insert Coins
Presented as part of Sélection suisse en Avignon From July 10 to 19 Christian Lutz will be teaming up with dancer and choreographer Cindy Van Acker to present a solo performance inspired by the photographs in the Insert Coins series.

With the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and in association with Sélection suisse en Avignon.

This exhibition is part of the programming associated with the Rencontres d’Arles as part of the Grand Arles Express