‹Panorama› Michael von Graffenried, Annaïk Lou Pitteloud


Michael von Graffenried, in his most recent show, exhibits works from the last ten years. Again and again he plunges into the core of true life and confronts it head on. With this aesthetic diligence he bluntly unmasks grievances, amuses with his complacent humour, and thereby celebrates a self-willed artistic elegance. His panorama shots not only document but also bear witness to the numerous journeys to Europe, Africa, Asia and America. Through his eye we recognize how profound his vision is and, as a seasoned traveller, his images exude the wisdom of selection. As a connoisseur of North Africa he has already experienced the ‹secular-religious› society a few times. With his series ‹Inside Cairo›, created in 2007, he challenges us with snapshots of what exists along the Nile River. For example; the bearded butcher and the policeman, who are both in full costume, seduce, shock, and raise countless questions. Insomuch the photographs are more than mere snap shots. They hide huge potential conflicts, resulting in the fact that nobody, neither museums nor galleries, wants to reveal these pictures in Cairo. Only the Nubian foreign workers on a roof garden agreed to show them publicly. Even there it was only possible thanks to MvGs persistence, to open the exhibition. The artist often photographs with a special panoramic camera. He can operate this camera without looking through the viewfinder. This technique allows him to photograph people without their knowledge, thus providing works with astonishing directness. These documentations of happenings can be confrontational, but create a sense of immediacy and originality.


In contrast to MvG, Annaïk Lou Pitteloud constructs an independent, fascinating, and alleged real world. She is a mistress of composition, narration, and fantasy. She is constantly astounding us anew with her scenes. She thoroughly investigates places, frequently revisiting them, and photographing them over and over again. Using these multiple images of the same place but at different times, she creates a unique location. She acknowledges that most would associate these places as those being unattractive, not worthy of attention. However, she sheds a new light on them and generates and enchanted aura, one that is intoxicating. Dark back yards become glazing stages of life, poorly illuminated streets become surreal settings for thrilling stories. Her pictures can be read as nearly cinematic ‹Screenshots›, certainly as a theatrical peep boxes. She controls the game with manipulating light; making obvious references to past master paintings from renaissance and baroque. Constantly she leaves one in the dark, controlling the compositions so they appear to be random snapshots or a kind of modern still life of our society. With her visual irritations she always breaks through micro and macrocosm, zooms closer, fades out, or focuses. Annaïk Lou Pittelouds works multilayered deeply feeling the pulse of time. She equally deals with the history of art as well as the history of time flirting with the two. Often addressing the omnipresent lifestyle, she questions social structures and analyzes realistic topics such as fear, hope, longing, or romance.


Bernhard Bischoff, November 2007