The stranger … and while I blossomed all alone, the world slumbered
During her three-month residency, Xiaoyi Chen discovered erratic blocks during a walk in the forest. These large rock masses, some of which are the size of houses, have been transported by rivers of ice and placed in dominant positions in glacial valleys or scattered over hills and plains. They bear witness to the glacier degradation that we can still observe today. Fascinated by the monumentality of these mysterious blocks, the photographer wishes to restore through her photography and videos the timeless power that they release.
Exhibition at Théâtre du Crochetan – Monthey
September 8 to December 2, 2018
Monday to Friday from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm + show nights
VERNISSAGE – September 14 – 6pm
An exhibition in partnership with Théâtre du Crochetan
Installation as part of the Festival Images Vevey – Place Scanavin
From 8 to 30 September 2018
OPENING DAY – September 8
Opening of exhibitions from 11.00 am
Official ceremony at 5:30 pm
An installation in partnership with Festival Images Vevey
Two years ago Lavonne Bosman spent three months in the Grisons mountains in Switzerland. There she took a magnificent series of photographs of yesterday’s migrants, the Walsers who had settled in the region for several centuries, and refugees who had recently arrived from countries at war.
Lavonne Bosman will soon be presenting her work in South Africa at the GUS Gallery University Stellenbosch. This new exhibition will present photographs taken in Switzerland and a previous series on AmaXhosa people and their migration from Transkei, also known as Wild Coast, to the city townships.
With her very human and sensitive work Lavonne Bosman helps us realize that, in the end, we are all migrants.
From late June to early September Verzasca FOTO Festival will have the pleasure to welcome in residence the Peruvian artist Camila Rodrigo.
As a photographer Camila Rodrigo usually addresses the theme of territories in her home-city Lima. The three months residency in the Val Verzasca will provide her the change of environment and the discovery of a new culture necessary for a reflection and innovative artwork on a new geography.
In her artworks, Camila Rodrigo expresses visual situations related to the uses and abuses of man on nature, relying on sculpture, photography, Chemigrams and photocopy. Thus, her way of creation allows her to create new topographies.
Encountering new spaces in Switzerland will deepen her understanding of global warming from the point of view of a different territory facing specific challenges.
Who stands in the sun, projects shadows: such is the thought that inhabited Tamir Bayarsaikhan in his peregrinations across the Valais. He laid his artist’s look on every trace of human presence visible in the landscape. Whether our actions are felt as appropriate or aberrant, nature reacts to them at every moment, inevitably. The images collected by the Mongolian photographer are sometimes breathtakingly beautiful, sublimely calm, sometimes agitated, troubled, witnesses of dramatic events. An exhibition similar to a Valaisan illustration of the famous « butterfly effect ».
An exhibition in partnership with the Festival Musikdorf Ernen
Varnishing: Saturday 7th July, 15.00, Ernen
8th July to 16th September
Daily from 10.00 to 18.00, up to 20.00 on concert days
Event: Open Doors Day at the residence, Saturday 30th June, 15.00-18.00, Bellwald
The photographer Tamir Bayarsaikhan is invited by the « Kunstverein Oberwallis » to a meeting and discussion evening.
A great opportunity to get to know Mongolia better, a country that often makes us dream and to discover the visual universe of the artist.
Tamir Bayarsaikhan will also tell his first impressions of Valais and the project he is developing as part of his residency in Bellwald.
The discussion will be moderated by the curator Muriel Constantin-Pitteloud.
17th May, 20:00, Zeughaus Kultur, Brig Glis
In the framework of his residency M’hammed Kilito dealt with the theme of migration in Valais, through the visual sociology approach that characterizes his work. He questioned the political and social realities of migrants by producing three photographic series that weave narrative threads: the first focuses on the objects and memories brought back by migrants as well as on their homes or places of work; the second presents exchanges of knowledge or shared knowledge between migrants and Swiss residents; the third tells the daily life of migrants through the activities organized by the Intercultural Space of Sierre.
Wednesday 23rd May – 18 :30– Maxxx Project Space, Av. Max Huber 12, Sierre
With musical participation of Spyros Panyiotakis
24th May – 10th June 2018
Monday-Friday 17:00 – 19:00
24th May – 19h00, Maxxx Project Space, Sierre
Guided visit and meeting with M’hammed Kilito accompanied by Benoit Antille, curator of the exhibition, and Didier Joris, coordinator of language courses at the Cantonal Asylum Office
Tamir Bayarsaikhan is a Mongolian photographer who tries to express delicate relationship between man and nature in his pictures. Real motion rythm, light, sync of various colours can be perceived in his photos in order to express realness; because he believes that art must be true. From his initial formation as a designer, Tamir Bayarsaikhan kept the rigor and sensitivity to aesthetics. But art of photography offers him the possibility to fix beauty of nature and share it with others. Travel is a major part of his life; he is able to open his world at every travel he makes. This will certainly help him to understand other cultures during his 3 months’ residency in Bellwald, as his wish is to work on the influence of climate change on migration issues in Switzerland within SMArt programme.
During his 3 months’ residency in Sierre, the Moroccan artist M’hammed Kilito will have the opportunity to work on migration issue in Valais. Having already studied this question in his country, in particular with the publishing of the book « Un si long chemin » in collaboration with the UNHCR, this theme is not a discovery for this photographer. Issued from the tradition of visual sociology, he uses the image as a research tool to better understand a given social reality. Using his background in political science, he would like to explore – during his stay in Valais – the reason of national policy of restrictive immigration in Switzerland and the logic of the growing fear towards foreigners. His work will permit to highlight by reverse process (fear / restrictive policies) this relationship between Swiss and migrants. This socio-photographical research will certainly find its place for the Rencontres Orient-Occident 2018 in Sierre, in the frame of which his exhibition will be presented in May.
In partnership with the Foundation for the Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the City of Lausanne is organizing a photographic exhibition at the Town Hall Forum from 27 February to 15 March 2018. Visitors will discover Lausanne’s sustainability commitments in the light of the photographic works of the SMArt program (Sustainable Moutain Art). Climate and energy, water, migration, agriculture and food, landscapes and urbanism, are so many « territories in motion » and as many challenges for the city as for the mountain.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at 18:30, in the presence of Natacha Litzistorf, Councilor in charge of Housing, Environment and Architecture of Lausanne city.
27 February – 15 March 2018
Town Hall Forum, Place de la Palud, Lausanne
In February, the Theater of Crochetan in Monthey will have the pleasure to welcome Xiaoyi Chen, a young and to the promising career Chinese photographer, for a three months’ residency. Ambitious, she already had the occasion to distinct herself with her abstract artwork in numerous collective and individual exhibitions around the world. Thanks to a combination of techniques (photography, printing, video,…) she explores beneath the surface of things by simplifying the content of her pictures to the maximum in order to make our intuition react. Within SMArt programme, she is interested in exploring the theme of climate change and the issue of temperature and the perception people have of it.
A few months before starting his residency in Valais, as part of the SMART program, the Colombian photographer Juan Arias had spotted on the Internet an article of the local newspaper “Le Nouvelliste” which held all his attention: “A wolf killed in the Val d’Anniviers, victim of a poaching act.” Working on the representation systems and archetypes that underlie social relations, with a particular interest in the forms of violence that are played at this level, Juan Arias immediately understood, instinctively, the significance of this incident. After dealing with topics such as the myth of the « pink dolphin » in Colombia, he decided to focus his attention on that of the wolf in Valais, in a dive that would lead him to discover the tenacious and ferocious tensions that still divide today this canton.
In his exhibition, Juan Arias creates an extremely ambitious project which consists in proposing a « radiography » of the contemporary Valaisan society, revealing his fears, his antagonisms, his preoccupations, through an anthropological glance taking the wolf like red thread. His photographs work as a set, a kaleidoscope of images and projections that interact with each other, in order to create a plurality of meanings and interpretations: a Rorschach test of a new order, bringing out our intimate wolf from his lair.
21st November 2017, 18:00, MAXXX Project Space, Sierre
22th November – 10th December 2017
Evening « «The wolf in the scientific discourse and the contemporary imagination»
Wednesday 29th November 2017, 19:00, MAXXX Project Space, Sierre
Evening « The return of the wolf in Valais: situation and challenges »
Tuesday 5th December 2017, 19:00, La Sacoche, Sierre
The Moroccan photographer Bithal Remli, who was in residency last year in Sierre, presents her new exhibition in Marrakech called “From then till now”. This exhibition presents the two series « The Heroes of the Mountain » and « Country of Woman » to create an amazing course: two similar and radically different worlds. After her work on Swiss alpine agriculture in Valais – where she was confronted with a different reality from that she imagined – she returned to her native country in the Moroccan mountains to work on the strong importance of the work of women in traditional farming. This exhibition is an opportunity to confront these photos, these two worlds, so different and so similar. Two times of an intelligent photographic work at work, where one can discover a socio-political reflection that surfaces in its images and how Btihal Remli transforms it into photographic matter.
12th October 2017, 19h
13th to 19th November 2017
Monday to Saturday, 10h-19h
“There are some realities lying under the surface of what we observe. Truths that lift up out of the blue, as a sea monster which rises to the surface and then disappears. Entering this unknown world is a way to me to tempt these monsters to emerge, it’s like building a bridge these creatures can get through to what is real and familiar to us. This beautiful space, where imagination and reality meet, is where love, tears and happiness exist. This is the place. This is where we live.”
This text of Nick Cave reflects the message Jorge Panchoaga has wanted to pass through his pictures: “Whoever visit the Verzasca Valley is exposed to all what nature and human being recount us. The story depends on who guides us, on what we find along the path—to imagine the future changes, to remember the past scenarios, to create a mirror between our fears and calm. “ His pictures were shown during the Verzasca Foto Festival in Sonogno, Tessin from 31st August to 3rd September 2017.
During her exhibition « Symbiosis » in Lima, Sharon Castellanos presents 2 series of pictures representing the distance or the closeness we can have with nature. The black and white series gives the idea of the boarder that keeps us far from the mountains. The series on herbalists illustrates a tighter link with nature. Moreover, the pictures of the herbarium are presented as a « polyptic». So from the left side, people can see only the portraits and from the other side, only the plants with incorporated text, and with a frontal view the complete herbarium can be seen.
Sharon testimonies from the varnishing: “The answer of the visitors has been positive, there are a lot of people interested in the practice of the picking up the medicinal plants. There was even a visit by the director of the Museum of “Sacred, magic and medicinal plants in Cusco ». Last but not least, Alejandro Leòn Cannock, a former SMArt photographer, took part to the varnishing as well, sharing experiences with Sharon on their stay in Switzerland.
From September, Juan Arias will start his 3 months’ residency in Chateau Mercier in Sierre with the exploration of the wolf thematic. The coming back of this protected animal in the Valais mountains is not the taste of everyone. As an example, a wolf was found dead in the Val d’Anniviers in February, probably victim of an act of poaching. Moreover, several politicians made propositions these last years to restrict the legislation on their protection. The population will even be called to vote soon on this theme. Wolves are definitely a burning actuality in Valais!
Through his images, Juan Arias would like to show the importance of preserving and protecting wolves in nature. He also wants to link this highly cultural and symbolic animal with human migratory processes which have a lot in common with wolves migration. This original thematic will for sure interpolate the population in Valais on its link with this animal and the wild nature.
Jorge Panchoaga, an anthropologist and photographer from Colombia, is currently welcomed in SMArt programme. Through his pictures, he develops works related to issues of identity, memory, language and the relation between the human being and its environment. During the last years, Jorge Panchoaga has been interested in the historical relationship that we have established with nature, specifically the relationship we have built with water.
As usual, Jorge will stay 3 months in Switzerland. But this time, in a brand new place: Tessin. Indeed, SMArt programme starts a new residency in the Italian part of Switzerland (Tessin) with Verzasca Foto, which organise every year a photo festival in the Val Verzasca, a valley in the Tessin mountains. Jorge Panchoaga will thus profit from his residency to explore the theme of water and its links with the daily and historical life of the inhabitants of the valley.
More information here: http://www.verzascafoto.com/
Deeply touched by the narrow relationship between the inhabitants of Andes and nature, Sharon Castellanos explored the links which unite the inhabitants of Valais with their environment. During her stay in Bellwald, she discovered diverse forms of cohabitation – between distance and instrumentalization on one side, and closeness and communion on the other. The Peruvian photographer delivers a sensitive representation of these various symbioses – a representation which turns out to be a metaphor more than an objective reflection of the reality.
21th July 2017, 18:30, Alter Werkhof, Brig
22th July – 6th August 2017
Sharon Castellanos, Peruvian photographer, is used to the magnificence of the mountains as she comes from Cusco in the Andes. Being in residency in Bellwald, she will also be confronted to a similar high mountainous valley; a situation which will certainly help her to understand this Swiss mountain region through daily rural life and the manifestation of the nature, her main themes of interest.
Within SMArt programme, she would like to point out important issues like melting of the glacier or Swiss people’s vision of the world, transfiguring the real facts into imagination. Indeed, she is willing to play with reality, alternating literal meaning of an image with the sense a picture can symbolize. With her work, Sharon Castellanos could offer a surprising illustration of the Valais between reality and fantasy…
Hasan Shaaban, who was housed at the Théâtre du Crochetan for three months, focused his work on water and energy themes, with special emphasis on dams and production plants. Overcoming the difficulty of accessing the dams during the winter season, this 30-year-old Lebanese photographer visited Grande Dixence and Emosson. He was also able to enter the lair of the factories of Lavey, Bieudron and St-Leonard. Photoreporter in his country, great importance is given to the action in his work. The latter is perfectly illustrated in his photographs by the gestures of the workers busy with the maintenance of these enormous machines. Hasan Shaaban makes « The Power of Water » feel through these photos, but never reveals it…
27th April 2017, 19:00, La Grange à Vanay, Monthey
28th April – 7th May 2017
“Fascinating mountains, stolen summits” is a cultural event organized as part of the 75th anniversary of the development company Edelweiss from Chalais. Its ambition is to weave, in an exploratory way, links between the visual arts and the theater. In particular, it will bring to light the stakes in landscape design, whether desired or imposed, from a tourist perspective. Laurence Piaget, a Swiss photographer, and Jiehao Su, a Chinese artist, exhibit their work with local artists.
To discover from 23rd March – 1st April in Kabaret, Chalais
More information here
Thursday 23rd March 19:30
24-25 March 17:00 – 21:00
26 March 15:00 – 19:00
31 March 17:00 – 21:00
1 April 11:00 – 15:00
On 31st January, SMArt was presented at the Forum for sustainable development, organised by the Federal Office for special development in Berne. Sarah Huber, project manager, explained the goals, achievements and perspectives of the projects. Laurence Piaget, photographer, testimonied of the importance of engagement that she involves in her artworks, which she was made visible by SMArt. Axel Roduit, cultural advisor for the Cultural Service in Valais, reminded the important link between culture and sustainability that give sense to the artistic projects of the photographers.
This Forum was also a good opportunity to create contacts with other organisations which will maybe bring to new projects or residencies within SMArt programme…! And last but not least, this Forum gave us ideas and make us dream with projects like cultural politics developed in Nates with Patrick Gyger as well as smaller initiatives like Musikdorf Ernen with Francesco Walter or Verzasca Foto Festival in Ticino that reminds the many ways to link and bring alive sustainable development and culture. This Forum was definitely good for the mind!
The first artist arriving in Switzerland in 2017 in SMArt programme is Hasan Shaaban, a Lebanese photojournalist. He defines himself as an activist, who uses his photojournalism career to show the truth. With his action pictures, he sheds light on all issues related to environment, especially the garbage crisis in Lebanon that lasts for almost two years now. When Hasan Shaaban reported pictures of the garbage polluting the natural underground water reserves, he had the idea of showing how other countries are trying to benefit from water for uses such as renewable energy. During his 3 months residency in Monthey, he wants to work on this theme in order to present constructive solutions to water management which could be useful in Lebanon where there are great water resources available.
During two months, part of the exhibition of Jiehao Su « The book of images » is shown in the lobby of the theater of Valère in Sion. This small exhibition is a wink to the work of Jiehao Su, as he realized some pictures in this place (picture of the seats for example) last year.
To discover during the shows at the theater. More information here.
Before starting her residence, Btihal Remli wanted to work on food production; she was particularly interested in cheese making and the effects of globalization and climate change on this traditional economy. The Moroccan photographer imagined to document the remains of a vernacular activity in the Alps. But once there, she was confronted with a different reality, far from the idealized images portrayed in marketing and tourism. This tension between a vernacular that became a brand and the contemporaneity of life and production patterns in the mountain is the central theme of her work.
Coming in Valais to work there on the alpine economy, Btihal Remli was exposed to a difficult challenge: to be able to capture in a short time some aspects of a complex reality, charged of sometimes conflicting representations that were accumulated through the ages. In the end, she delivers a sensitive and subtle work, which highlights the new dynamics at play in the mountains, between tradition and modernity.
2nd November 2016, 17:30, MAXXX Project Space, Sierre
Guided visit and meeting with the artist
11th November 2016, 18:00
Exhibition “Glacier of the refugees”
Breathtaking vision which collide: A « somewher else »devastated by a cataclysm, a refugee camp strewn with torn white tents sheltering imaginary survivors, agricultural covers that downwind turn into articulated ghosts, packaged gigantic artistic work sheets united by Christo, or a laminated dead wrapped in shrouds clear. “Glacier of the refugees” is an exhibition part of the project “Agony of a glacier” which is an ongoing photographic project on the Rhone glacier to Gletsch in the Canton of Valais in Switzerland.
Laurence Piaget presents her exhibition at the Festival of images “Shoot!” in the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Valley. To see from 8th October to 2nd November at the Maison de Village in Argentière.
8th October, 12:30, Maison de Village, Argentière
From 9th to 15th October: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 09 :30-12 :00, 14 :00-18 :00
From 18th to 21st October: from Tuesday to Friday, 09:30-12:00
From 25th October: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 09:30-12:00, 14:00-18:00
Weekly closure of the Maison de Village: Sunday, Monday, Thursday
Exceptional closure: Saturday 22nd October
Lavonne Bosman dedicated his project to the daily reality of village populations of Medergen and Litzirüti (Grisons) with, in historical backdrop, the migration of the Walser. In this context, she also studied how to build the relationship with migrants today through the specific case of the transit centre that opened in Litzirüti in 2015. Her exhibition will show the results of this exploration work.
Friday 7th October 2016 at 19.00, Stadtgalerie Coire, Grisons
8th-21st October 2016
Discover the work of Lavonne Bosman, the South African photographer, in residency in the Grisons, during the open doors’ day of AIR Villekulla in Medergen on the 17th September.
The varnishing of the exhibition will take place on Friday 7th October 2016, 19:00 in the Town Gallery in Chur.
Half way between art and scientific exploration, MATZA confronts for the second times artists and researchers in order to explore and reflect upon issues connecting land, the collective use of natural resources and democracy. After three weeks in Mojave desert (MATZA Amboy) and an exhibition launched the 5th July in the US, the first edition of MATZA Aletsch starts in September on Aletsch glacier. A varnishing at the Konkoria hut is planned on the 17th September 2016, at 2850 m. high! This will be the opportunity to discover the work of Laurence Piaget and other artists who will stay for 2 weeks’ residency in the hut. More information here
From the 4th September to 22nd October, discover at the Theater of the Crochetan in Monthey, the exhibition of the two Chinese artists who were each in residency for 3 months with SMArt, in spring 2016. Jiehao Su, who stayed in Bellwald, was inspired from the poet Maria Rilke, who touches him deeply, and used this to explore and touch with delicacy the invisible soul of the place with his camera. Lanqing Zhu, who stayed in Monthey, makes us discover the “Melancholic Mountains”, with delicacy and elegance.
Btihal Remli is a young woman who grew up in Germany to Moroccan parents, building up her identity between Oriental and Occidental cultures. This duality emerges from her photographs of Mosques, veiled women and people praying, since she is interested in spaces, especially more in immaterial spaces than physical ones. During her residency in Sierre (from August to October), her “double cultural gaze” will help to confront us on our vision of the challenge of the food supply in the mountains of Valais. Indeed, in SMArt program, she wishes to engage a reflection on the contrast between the difficult reality of small producers of the Swiss mountains and the idealistic image that is used to sell typical products like cheese by the big companies.
The Chinese photographers who have been welcomed in Switzerland in the last months are showing their artworks at the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing until 13th August 2016.
Both Lanqing Zhu and Jiehao Su have taken the opportunity of this new exhibition to enrich the story they are telling us about the Alps.
Lanqing Zhu shows collected lost post cards sold at flea markets, booklets depicturing explorers and alpinists, complicated and information rich maps. She mixes them with her own photography works to create a non-linear voyage in the time. This journey to the mountains and their peaks starts with an old Alps postcard, it is guided by old maps and people holding telescopes, while cable cars and ski boards are our transport. The artist travels throughout past and present, imagination and reality, but not satisfied enough of being a guided one or a tourist, she modifies and creates her own path to the tops, proving yet again mountains are natural subjects of humans’endless imagination and desire of conquer.
Jiehao Su completes his book of images, inspired by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, with a video about birds, a sound recording in a closed space as well as several email letters combined with images. These letters are genuine correspondences between him Sarah at SMArt and, with their linearity in time and their special form consisting of dialogues; they build a new intertextual relationship among with Su’s creations and Rilke’s texts. With this, Jiehao Su completes his commemoration and response to the poet.
This summer, SMArt inaugurates a new residency in the Grisons. Indeed, our new cultural partner, Air Villekula, proposes an original residency, which takes place in a tiny traditional alpine house in the Grisons mountains. This is the place where Lavonne Bosman, a South African photographer, will spend 3 months (from August to October) and lay down her glance on the theme of migration. This is a central theme of reflexion in Lavonne’s work, as she realised two projects on amaXhosa people in the last years, called “Ilungile, it is good” and “Madiba’s people”. In South Africa, these people had to live in squatter camps near cities for generations, when they lost their own land in the rural homelands in Eastern Cape. With her photographies on migration, Lavonne Bosman wants to increase awareness on these people to whom it miss a voice to talk about their situation.
The exhibition « The melancholic mountain » of the Chinese photographer Lanqing Zhu can be discovered at a cultural appetizer reconciling art and lifestyle. The program for this public event, organized in collaboration with Monthey Tourism and Monthey’roir: a guided tour with the curator of the exhibition, Julia Hountou, followed by a tasting of local products and multicultural dishes.
Cultural appetizer – Guided tour and tasting of local products
Wednesday 1st June 2016 – 18.00-20.00 – Château de Monthey
The Chinese artist Langing Zhu arrived in Switzerland in March and is welcomed in Monthey by the Crochetan Theatre. After a two months immersion in the Alps her very personal and sensitive artwork – Les montagnes mélancoliques – is to be discovered from 21th Mai to 3th June 2016.
Lanqing Zhu addresses the majestic nature with delicacy and reflection. Her vaporous pictures exhale a poetic atmosphere; mounts seem to float, untied from the ground, while the photographer plays on the visible and the invisible. Her atmospheres can sometimes remind the Chinese landscapes. Lanqing Zhu mixes her aesthetic search with social and environmental concerns through diverse mountain infrastructures (cable cars, electric poles, snow blowers) that generate debate.
Friday 20th May at 18.30, Château de Monthey (Rue du Château 7, salle d’exposition du 1er étage)
21th May – 3th June 2016
Monday to Saturday / 16.00-19.00
Discover the valaisan „Book of images“of the Chinese photographer Jiehao Su, who was welcomed by the association artbellwald.ch for a three-month stay, as part of SMArt programme. Jiehao Su’s documentary as well as artistic process keeps with the Chinese tradition. During his stay in Valais, he was looking for the most expressive designs, the most appropriate perspectives, and the right light to capture the invisible soul of the region with his camera. Details from nature, everyday situations and symbols of the Valais history and culture form a kind of overall picture, which is able to show the spirit of the Valais.
Wednesday 18th May 2016 at 18.30, Galerie zur Schützenlaube, Ecke Schützenhausgasse-Stapfengasse, Visp
19th – 29th May 2016
Wednesday / Thursday/ Friday: 16.00 – 19.00
Saturday/ Sunday: 14.00 – 18.00
Consisting of four valaisan musicians, the Ensemble Tétraflûtes developed a new musical program “Vibrations valaisannes”. It is a trilogy in which the archaic popular valaisan soundscape resonates with contemporary music. With the musicians Eliane Williner, Tanjia Muller, Rosalia Agadjanian, Eliane Locher. More information: www.tetraflutes.ch
Discover photographic works of Jiehao Su and meet the artist.
Launched in 2014 by the Foundation for sustainable development in mountain regions (FDDM), the SMArt programme (Sustainable Mountain Art) seeks to raise awareness of the challenges of the mountains through art and artists.
The original works of seven photographers-artists, welcomed in residency in Valais or from the region, were brought together for the first time at the Médiathèque Valais – Martigny this spring.
These looks linger over the mountains that surround us, reveal vulnerable territories, despite a first impression of strength. Photographic explorations are taking shape and, in different styles, tell the journey of water, the melting of glaciers, the still wild landscapes or pastures transformed into resorts.
The Médiathèque Valais-Martigny points these aesthetical approaches of short memories with artistic or documentary photos.
A multiplication of perspectives that lead us into sensitive terrain.
An exhibition to discover, or rediscover, in the premises of HES-SO Valais Wallis in Sierre (Rue de la Plaine 2), from 28th April to 10th September 2016.
Free access: Monday to Friday 8h00 – 19h00, Saturday 08h00-17h00.
Launched as part of the EnergyForum 28th April 2016 at 19H30
Finishing at the symposium “Château d’eau”, 9th and 10th September 2016
A cultural evening is proposed in the frame of the exhibition En terrain sensible:
Screening of the film « Les Liberterres » from P-J Vranken et J-C Lamy
Monday 4th April 2016 19:30, Médiathèque Martigny
This documentary film, presented by FDDM as sidelines of the Festival du Film Vert, follows the life of 4 farmers who have refused conventional agriculture and have chosen to practice alternative agricultural methods.
A guided visit of the exhibition En terrain sensible takes place at 18:00 before the film.
They could be brother and sister, or maybe fake twins, travelling to Switzerland to discover a new country and photograph the landscape. But far from being tourists, these two artists will certainly bring to SMArt an original and personal point of view on the mountain challenges in Valais. Indeed, SMArt is proud to welcome at the same time two young but talented Chinese artists from March to May 2016. Lanqing Zhu, a 25 years’ old young woman, will be welcomed at the residency of Le Crochetan in Monthey. She will certainly work on the link between people and mountains, probably by observing tourism culture in Valais. On his side, Jiehao Su, a 28 years’ old young man, will stay at the artist residency artbellwald.ch in Bellwald. He will focus his attention on exploring different dimensions of the mountainous areas: the fragile and the steady, the artificial and the natural, the conflictual and the harmonious.
The exhibition « En terrain sensible. Regards d’artistes sur la montagne” wants to sensitize visitors, through photography, to the challenges of sustainable development. Climate changes, in the heart of this questioning, cause resource shortages, a general water crisis, natural disasters and other irreversible environmental degradations. They are also the source of some conflict and population displacement.
This last point will be presented by Jeremie Guélat, PhD student at the University of Neuchâtel and specialist in migration issue, during a public conference.
Monday 7th March at the Médiathèque Valais Martigny.
18:00 Guided visit of the exhibition
More information here
For the first time, the works of seven artists photographers produced under SMArt programme are gathered at the Médiathèque Valais Martigny and take us « on sensitive land”. The artists in residence in Valais – or from the region – express, with their images, the major challenges of sustainable development. Their looks linger over the mountains that surround us and then reveal vulnerable areas, despite a first impression of strength. Photographic explorations are taking shape and, in different styles, tell the journey of water, the melting of glaciers, the still wild landscapes or pastures transformed into resorts. The Médiathèque Valais complete these aesthetic approaches with brief audiovisual memories, archive movies and old photographs, which remind us of the frozen lakes, the harvesting of rye, the seasonal migration or the song of a bisse.
Thursday 4th February 2016 at 18h, Médiathèque Valais Martigny
5th February – 24th April 2016
Every day 13h – 18h
7th March – Conference about climatic migration with Jérémie Guélat More information
4th April – Movie night with the film « Les Liberterres » (France, 2015)
During the whole month of January 2016, MiratecArts presents the second edition of MONTANHA PICO FESTIVAL, the only event in Portugal of its kind. Mountain Pico Festival is not just a film festival and it is not just an art festival, it is also a celebration of everything that has to do with mountain culture and its issues, seen through the eyes of artists. SMArt participates to the festival with two exhibitions. Laurence Piaget “Agony of a Glacier” shows an exhibition at the Gare Marítima da Madalena, the entrance port to the island and the busiest place with daily boats arriving from neighbouring islands. Maralgua Badarch with her artwork “Mountain Myth” has her exhibition in the beautiful Pico Museum in the village of Lajes.
More on Montanha Pico Festival
Niels Ackermann, a Swiss photographer who visited Peru with SMArt programme in 2014 collected several successes with his talented pictures. In October 2015, at the international conference “Mountains of our future” in Perth, Scotland, Niels Ackerman won the prize “Mountain Stories” – with his photograph series ‘Waiting for the flood’. In December 2015, another picture “The guardian of Palcacocha” allowed him to get the first place of another photo competition at the Global Landscape Forum in Paris.
Two exhibitions also took place this autumn in Mongolia and in Switzerland. In November, Maralgua Badarch showed the exhibition “Mountain Myth” in the wonderful landscapes of Mongolia… outside, in the nature, surrounded with trees and snow! “Agony of a glacier” – Laurence Piaget’s artwork on the Rhone Glacier – was then shown in 3 high schools in Switzerland, where students debated on climate change with classes from Niger or Uganda, in parallel of the exhibition.
SMArt programme makes connection all around the world on climate and water themes and show will go on!
Laurence Piaget presents his exhibition « Agony of a glacier » at the Swiss Embassy in Paris from November 19th 2015 to January 8th 2016. His photographs depict the Rhone glacier covered with tarps to slow its melting. These tarps stimulate the imaginary with different interpretations, where stunning visions collide: a landscape out of this world, devastated by a cataclysm, a refugee camp dotted with torn white tents sheltering imaginary survivors, agricultural covers reshaped into articulated ghosts by the withering wind, a gigantic work of art wrapped in sheets united by Christo, or even layers of death wrapped in clear shrouds
Wednesday 18th November 2015 at 19h, Swiss Embassy, Paris
19th November 2015 – 8th January 2016, Swiss Embassy, Paris
The photographer and philosopher Alejandro León Cannock – welcomed in residency by the Foundation Château Mercier – explores a fundamental problem of the Swiss Alps: the melting of the glaciers. He offers an artwork consisting of photographs, collages and installations that «move» the components of the glacier landscape (stone, water, ice), expressing its physical destruction and its symbolic deconstruction process.
Thursday 3rd December 2015 at 17h30, Sierre, MAXXX Project Space
4th – 13th December 2015
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 17h – 19h
Saturday, Sunday 14h – 17h
Beginning of December, the international conference on the climate COP21 will be held in Paris. The FDDM takes the opportunity of this particular moment in the climate agenda to organize an evening of reflection and exchanges with exciting speakers.
SMArt programme wants to raise awareness on the challenges of mountains through art. But can art really be a stimulus for the community? Mathieu Menghini brings us some answers. Alejandro León Cannock shows us through his artwork the evolution of the glacier landscape under the pressure of a rapid climate change. Behind this creative and subjective work are scientific facts that reminds Martin Beniston. Switzerland is committed worldwide to ensure a future of quality for people living in mountain regions, Dominique Favre will show us how, concretely, art and science underlie this action.
Thursday 10th December 2015, Sierre
Since his arrival in Switzerland, Alejandro León Cannock has been working on two essential elements of the landscape in Valais: the «bisses» (traditional irrigation channels) and glaciers. The Peruvian artist wants to develop an artwork on the theme of water exploring different faces of this element with a thoughtful artistic approach. With his camera, he is working on the demarcation lines between ice and rock on the glacier; he is playing with the differences of material and shapes in order to show the phenomenon of melting of the glaciers, and this maybe even with a live experience during his exhibition! Some guards of «bisses» will also help him to understand the role of these traditional irrigation channels by taking pictures of their daily work. Alejandro will then confront their visions with his own representation of this special use of water in Valais. Still a lot of work until his exhibition planned in December in Sierre!
Summer was not holidays for everybody in SMArt programme! Four exhibitions have taken place in July and August in Peru and Rwanda. Ladies first, Luana Letts presented her photos of the series «Constant transformation» produced during her stay in Switzerland in Lima, main city of Peru and Huaraz, a city in the mountains, close to glaciers.
Then Cyril Ndegeya, showed the exhibition «The hidden face of water» in two different places in Kigali. Thus, the reflexion made by these artists in Switzerland on the challenges of climate change and water management is well exported in their countries and can sensitize people around the world on these themes. The objective of SMart is achieved!
35 years old, Peruvian, teacher of philosophy that dedicated his research to the aesthetic of existence for several years before becoming a graduated photographer: here is the very short portrait of Alejandro Leon Cannock, our new SMArt artist!
He will be welcomed in the residency of Villa Ruffieux in Sierre from September to December 2015. During his stay in Switzerland, he will certainly work on diptychs, 2 photos that will permit him to cross the look of local people on their territory with his vision on the indigenous inhabitants. His approach promises beautiful cultural meetings and exchanges!
After a first successful testing year, it’s a great pleasure to announce that SMArt continues for a 4 years step! In the future programme: new artists from Peru, Mongolia and Switzerland, new residences in Switzerland besides the 3 current in Valais. The selection of the next photographer is done, information follow very soon!
Discover the Valais mountain seen by Maralgua Badarch, Mongolian photographer in residence in Bellwald in the SMArt program.
SMArt also have the pleasure to welcome on this occasion, and in a yurt, a photo exhibition of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC: Aaruul UND JUSTISTALER – Mongolia and Switzerland in pictures.
Tuesday, May 12 at 17:30 – Gamsen / Landmauer / Alte Suste
From 13 to 31 May 2015
Wednesday – Saturday – Sunday 14h-18h
Result of the work of Cyril Ndegeya and Fabrice Erba in SMArt project, the exhibition THE HIDDEN SIDE OF WATER proposes to explore the water cycle in Valais, from the glacier to the lake.
19 April – 1 May 2015
Varnishing – 18 April 2015 – 17h
Grange à Vanay
Avenue du Crochetan 42, 1870 Monthey (CH)
Tuesday – Sunday
SMArt project continues with the arrival of Maralgua Badarch, a Mongolian artist. This 28 years old young woman has a Master in Film Directory & Script Writing and has already had a rich experience in this matter. Her visual experience in film making gives her a dramatic approach in her photographical artwork. She will stay 3 months in the residency of Artbellwald in Bellwald (Valais, Switzerland).
Cyril Ndegeya, a Rwandan photojournalist, arrived in Monthey (Valais, Switzerland) last week. His residency at the Crochetan Theatre will last 3 months and his work will focus on the theme of water. With his artwork, he wants to reveal similarities between Rwanda and Switzerland, as both countries are mountainous regions that can learn from each other about global change impacts.
After two months of work in their host countries, Luana Letts and Niels Ackermann have presented their work at COP20 in Lima and during an exhibition in Sierre at MAXXX Project Space.
Two galleries showing the work of each artist are now available in the section «ARTISTS».
During her residency in Villa Ruffieux, Luana Letts chose to work on the themes of water, natural risks and property speculation which so profoundly modified our alpine landscape.
By visiting the exhibition at MAXXX, you will discover a series of works gathered in a chain of interconnected realities.
A monumental work presents a mosaic of images conceived as an inventory of the architecture of type « chalet », mass-produced in our touristic resorts.
The exhibition shows then series of photos on which Luana Letts intervenes by practising cuttings which bring a critical view. The glacier of Moiry, confronted as the others with a worrisome phenomenon of melting, disappears from the photography. Avalanche barriers and dams take strange sculptural forms.
Other series finally, wonder about the links between nature and culture, as these rusty bolts hidden on a ground covered with dead leaves which we can discover as a surprise when looking closely at the picture.
27 November – 7 December 2014
Varnishing – 27 November – 17.30
Guided visit – 4 December – 18.00
MAXXX – Project Space
Max 12 – 3960 Sierre (CH)
Tuesday – Friday 16.00 / 19.00
Saturday – Sunday 14.00 / 17.00
and the Facebook’s page
In his work Waiting for the flood, Niels Ackermann addressed the threat an overflow of Lake Palcacocha represent to the city of Huaraz. The lake receives its water from an adjacent glacier. Because of global warming the volume of Placacocha has increased, seriously increasing the risk of an overflow that might generate an avalanche that could wipe out Huaraz. Niels Ackermann travelled in and around Huaraz, spent time with the guards who monitor the level of the lake and met with authorities and people to know the real risk posed by Placacocha, what is being done and what the people of Huaraz think about this present danger. In his work, we see how the city lacks an emergency plan in case of an overflow of Palcacocha and remains indolent to the threat, as authorities prefer temporary solutions instead of seeking for a permanent way to solve the problem.
On the other hand, Luana Letts visited Sierre in Switzerland and met with specialists in the challenges of mountain regions. Her work, Constant transformation, addresses the chain of transformations of the Swiss Alps that spring out of the tourism driven construction of holiday chalets. This has all kinds of consequences, from the use of natural resources to the transformation of the landscape, building security infrastructure, water management, etc. From a metaphorical perspective, Letts let us see how the beautiful landscape seen as a tourist attraction is transformed.
2 – 12 December 2014
10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Varnishing 7 December 2014 – 8.00 pm
Voices for Climate, zona vivero, Jockey Club del Perú
Luana Letts is a Peruvian photographer living in Lima. Motivated by the environmental situation in her country – Peru faces severe environmental problems linked to climate change, water distribution, waste management and mass migration – she has been developing her work around the transformation of the landscape, as well as the different uses people make of the land and their integration strategies.
During her residency she has chosen to work on natural risks and water. Her artwork will be shown at the Maxxx art gallery in Sierre from 27 November to 7 December 2014.
Niels Ackermann is a Swiss photographer with a background in photojournalism and political sciences. In his personal projects he likes to focus on small, delimited communities. He spends as much time as possible in the same location, developing an intimate connection with the people he photographs, learning their language, culture and experiencing their daily life.
For SMArt Niels Ackermann has chosen to work in the region of Huaraz. This city, which is as large as Lausanne, is threatened by huge glacial lakes formed by the melting Andean glaciers. In the past few decades, more than 20,000 people have already died in this region because of deadly landslides. Nonetheless, people continue to build there. By living in the city, Niels Ackermann will try to understand how the people of Huaraz live under this constant threat.
A joint exhibition of the work of Luana Letts and Niels Ackermann will also be held at COP20, the international conference on climate change, in Lima in December 2014.
Foundation for sustainable
development in mountain regions, Sion, Switzerland