Festival Images, in Vevey, is the first and main biennale of visual arts in Switzerland. Every two years, it present original photographic exhibitions, outdoors on façades, on the lake and in parks, and indoors in unusual venues, and features collaborations with people who ensure Vevey’s status as a ‘city of images’ all year round.
From 10 September to 2 October 2016, based on the theme of ‘immersion’, visitors will get to discover some fifty indoor and outdoor projects. A feature of the festival is to custom design its exhibition in order to strike the perfect balance between the works and the place in which they are exhibited, whether on museum walls, floating on the lake, on monumental façades or in the nave of a church.
Mat Collishaw’s The End of Innocence is housed in Sainte-Claire Church. The work stages a dialogue between two iconic artworks through a digital recreation: the portrait of Pope Innocent X painted by Diego Velázquez in 1650 and its modern reinterpretation by Francis Bacon painted in 1953. This installation takes the form of a cloud of luminous pixels, where the Irish painter’s work is superimposed on that of the Spanish painter in a continuous interplay of successive fading. Halfway between figuration and abstraction, this hypnotic work evokes the superficiality of the images generated in our hyper-connected societies, in a time when clouds, mobile devices and social media rule our daily lives with an overwhelming influx of images.
Collishaw’s second work in the festival is In Camera, found in the attic of the History Museum/Confrérie des Vignerons. In Camera is designed around the photographic archives of Birmingham’s library, based on a series of 12 negatives from a crime scene, taken on behalf of the British city’s police in the 1930s and 1940s. In the attic of the History Museum, the installation presents each scene reproduced in transparency with phosphorescent ink and exhibited in an individual showcase. Under sporadic flashes, these antiquated images briefly reveal themselves to the eyes of the visitors plunged in darkness. Collishaw takes these archives out of their documentary function to sow confusion into our minds. The absence of all human presence in these scenes instinctively arouses our curiosity: everyone is invited to appropriate the images and draw their own conclusions on the crimes that happened in these mysterious scenes.