Each in their way, the artists Nicolas Savary and Yann Gross [CH] discuss the notions of progress and the history of domination that permeates the American continent in two exhibitions on show at FoLa – Fototeca Latinoamericana, in Buenos Aires, from 25 November to 1 January.
Savary brings a documentary reading of these themes in «Conquistador» (The Conqueror). He bases it on an extensive archive on the life of Louis de Boccard, a Swiss nobleman exiled in Argentina at the end of the 19th century. This includes photo albums (with photos taken by Boccard himself and other photographers he knew), letters, newspaper clippings and journals.
In the exhibition space, Savary contrasts these documents with recent images of the continent, drawing a relationship with contemporary issues, namely the tourism industry, ecology, and the circumstances of indigenous populations. Going beyond, the artist reflects on the very nature of the document and how it is possible to reinterpret its meanings.
In «The Jungle Show», Gross retraces the steps of great conquerors in expeditions through the Amazon and proposes other readings of the region, which has always aroused greed and fascination throughout history.
To create a disenchanted account of an impossible conquest, the artist presents discretely staged situations that reveal the different worlds of the contemporary Amazon and its surroundings, distancing the viewer from romantic clichés about abandoned lands and noble savages.
In Gross’s photography, the forest is a mirage, made up of clusters and ghosts.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Nicolas Savary is a photographer and visual artist who lives and works in Lausanne. Since studying Visual Arts at ECAL, Switzerland, he has been focused on documentary photography research, with a particular interest in social, political, and historical issues.
Yann Gross explores, through photography, videos, and installations, how humanity shapes its environment and develops its identity. His projects address the construction of the imaginary and a certain desire for escapism. Currently, Gross lives between Switzerland and the Amazon rainforest.