The longer I look
Exhibition: 6 Sep – 20 Oct 2018
Thu 6 Sep 18:00
Galerie Esther Woerdehoff
36 rue Falguière
+33(0)9-51 51 24 50
“Since the late 1960s Christian Vogt has produced a photographic oeuvre impressive for its creative inventiveness and its unexpected twists. He is a master of the art of photographic haikus, and a virtuoso of associative story telling with pictures. To Vogt, photography is never a mere reproduction but always a speculation about the meaning of the story hidden behind the surface, a re ection on the subjectivity of the photographic eye, in the awareness that the actual picture only emerges through the perception of the beholder...”
Martin Gasser, Today I’ve been you, 2009
Christian Vogt is one of the most important contemporary Swiss photographers, from a generation of artists who revolutionized photography from the 60s. The longer I look is his first solo exhibition in France since 1990 and presents a selection of his recent works.
With a perfect mastery of the photographic technique that he has been practicing for fty years, Christian Vogt explores all the speci cities of the medium and its evolution. The photographer wonders about the changing relationship to reality, the spectator’s involvement in the aesthetic emotion, the discourse between text and image, the importance of the size and scale of the print. His photography is entirely commited to desire, to the marvelous possibility of freezing time, to the amazement of seeing the moment of shooting becoming an image. But it also allows the photographer to question reality and its perception, to confront the visible to its photographic interpretation.
Christian Vogt completely accepts to create an illusion of reality, ltered by the physical-chemical device of the camera and the printing. He ponders precisely about the work produced, its size, its printing technique and its edition. He selects his photographs with an extremely strict criteria keeping those that meet his ambitious quest: to see beyond the visible.
“Labels are always constricting. If I work with naked bodies, for example, I am immediately labeled a nude photographer. A nude is a representation of the naked human body. What is important to me, however, is rather the translation of an idea through the use of the body and body language. I am often asked “what” it is that I photograph. I am never asked about the “how.” If you were to ask Van Gogh what it was that he painted without knowing his style and he were to answer “sun owers”— would you be any the wiser?”
“There are also different interactions between pictures and text. All the thoughts that I expressed in Skinprints I actually originally wanted to use in Photographic Notes. But it didn’t work. Certain texts lose their sense because one immediately connects them to the picture. Sometimes that can work well and text and image reciprocate — but often not. In Skinprints, however, the texts have much greater autonomy with regard to both content and form.”
« I find it difficult that people tend to perceive only the ‘sujet’ of a photographic image – a quick collection of information – but fail to read the image in its entirety...
to quote Jean-Christophe Ammann: “Thinking in pictures is something different than thinking about pictures” »
Quotes : Christian Vogt interviewed by Martin Gasser, in The Longer I look, published by Scheidegger and Spiess
“Since the late 1960s Christian Vogt has produced a photographic oeuvre impressive for its creative inventiveness and its unexpected twists. He is a master of the art of photographic haikus, and a virtuoso of associative storytelling with pictures. To Vogt, photography is never a mere reproduction but always a speculation about the meaning of the story hidden behind the surface, a re ection on the subjectivity of the photographic eye, in the awareness that the actual picture only emerges through the perception of the beholder...”
Martin Gasser, in Today I’ve been you, 2009
Born in 1946 in Switzerland, Christian Vogt lives and works in Basel.
Involved in photography since the late 60’s, he studied at the Basel Design School followed by assistantships 1968/69 in London and with the American photographer Will McBride in Munich. Opening his studio in Basel in 1969, he worked in commission while continuing to pursue his artistic researches with a prodigious inventiveness, intensity and exceptional precision. This attracts an international clientele, (eg. Nestlé, Vogue Italy, Morningstar, USA, Landscape Architects, Ilford, etc.) and enables the development and continuation of his own work. Extensive travels further enrich his process (Far East, USA and Canada, etc).
Photography as research: for almost ve decades, Christian Vogt has probed the entire spectrum of photography, pursuing his work in cycles and series. Since 1980, the integration of text has become an important element of his work. Regularly exhibited and the frequent recipient of awards since the Photokina Prize in 1972, his works are represented in numerous public collections and institutions.
In 2017, he released his latest book The longer I look – a retrospective reflection on his fifty years of photography.