A Swiss-born Venezuelan, photographer Luis Molina-Pantin has developed a strange relationship with Switzerland, questioning his own identity. This connection, complex and somehow undefined, has led him to explore how Swiss tradition and landscapes have been represented in other countries.
During a research trip in Switzerland, in mid-2023, he travelled around various cities, connecting with partners and investigating the land’s imagery: the classic composition of the chalet, pine trees and the snowy mountains, all part of the countries’ touristic iconography.
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“What does it represent? Harmony, perfection, comfort?,” he asks, wondering what those symbolisms mean in Europe and in other parts of the world, especially in Latin America, where he grew up and currently lives.
The artist’s work consists of field studies and a series of photographs, videos and found objects. Through those materials, representations of everyday life filled with irony, he explores how the Swiss landscape is appropriated to adopt the sense of the «Swiss perfection».
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Luis Molina-Pantin (Venezuelan, born in Geneva, 1969) currently lives in Mexico City. The artist obtained a BFA at Concordia University, Montreal (1994) and an MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute, California (1997). Molina-Pantin has been featured in solo exhibitions at Fundación Mercantil, Caracas (2019); Henrique Faria, New York (2021, 2016, 2013); Federico Luger, Milano (2008, 2006); Periférico Caracas | Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas (2009); Galería Marta Cervera, Madrid (2008); and Sala Mendoza, Caracas (2007, 2003, 1997). His work was included in the recent exhibition «Chosen Memories» at The Museum of Modern Art (2023); also at the 3rd International Centre of Photography Triennial, also in New York (2013), 7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2008) and the 25th São Paulo Biennale, São Paulo (2002), and has also participated in group exhibitions at The Photographer’s Gallery, London (2019); Museo Amparo, Puebla (2019); Simon Preston Gallery, New York (2013); Americas Society, New York (2012); Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin (2009) and Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas (2001). Molina-Pantin has been published in various periodicals including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Art Forum, Liberation, Bomb, Cabinet, Gatopardo and Peter Sloterdijk’s Spheres III. The artist’s works belong to distinguished collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, New York; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla and Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas.