Palazzo Strozzi

Jules Spinatsch
Installation view, Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Firenze
Photo: Valentina Muscedra

For his Temporary Discomfort series, which includes several works featuring both videos and photos, the artist followed the meetings held at large international summits such as those of the World Economic Forum and the G8 in places such as Genoa, Geneva/Evian, New York and Davos.
On each of these occasions a photographic series was developed that explores a specific aspect of the site hosting the meeting - a militarized area in an emergency situation. The centrepieces of these works are not official speeches or press conferences, but rather the giant security structures specifically set up for the events, which profoundly alter the image of the cities that house them.
Jules Spinatsch makes unconventional use of photography, whose interaction with other technologies he also explores. Aside from taking photographs, the artist also employs security cameras which he personally installs in the places he wishes to portray. The images he thus obtains provide the material for his construction of wide-scale panoramic views; by recording each site for an extended period of time, these show the unfolding of events that could not be fixed through the instant shots of a photographic camera.
The artist sticks to the role of an impartial observer who through his photos grasps the artificial and often paradoxical quality of these extraordinary works of urban architecture. At the same time, he seeks to question the image the media project of these events. He succeeds in fixing details that would otherwise be overlooked and in opening up new, sophisticated and unprejudiced perspectives based on photographic correspondence. By depicting these places as expensive and extravagant stage sets, whose underlying logic escapes neither participants nor protesters, Spinatsch draws attention to the structure and organization of the meetings and the present overall political situation.
For Portraits and Power the artist began a new project dedicated to the Abruzzo region. In the spirit of his Temporary Discomfort series, the artist describes, in images and texts, traces of political decision-making, which have been left either on the territory or in historical memory. His work focuses on the town of Onna, subjected to political actions from the Second World War to the 2009 earthquake and the G8 Summit of the same year.

JULES SPINATSCH (Switzerland, 1964)
Opportunity for Action - A Story of Onna 1944-2010

Jules Spinatsch explores the effects of globalization and "economization" upon natural and urban spaces. A characteristic of his procedure is the way in which he never points the camera directly upon the place he is examining, but rather chooses to focus on secondary settings and marginal areas.

Opportunity for Action - A Story of Onna 1944-2010
Photographs and texts

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Tina Barney
Christoph Brech
Fabio Cifariello Ciardi
Clegg & Guttmann
Nick Danziger
Rineke Dijkstra
Jim Dow
Bureau d’etudes
Francesco Jodice
Annie Leibovitz
Helmut Newton
Trevor Paglen
Martin Parr
Daniela Rossell
Wang Qingsong
Jules Spinatsch
Hiroshi Sugimoto
The Yes Men
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1.10.2010 – 23.01.2011