from 4 March to 26 July 2009
In a world as overloaded with images and information as our own, how can we possibly continue to use photography as a means of talking about human suffering?
Today’s photographers do not perceive their medium as a tool with which to illustrate reality or unveil the world. The 19th century took ample care of that. Above all, the image itself enables photographers to express personal thoughts and feelings about society, daily topics or world conflicts. Unlike photo-reporters who operate somehow like military commandos, the photographers assembled in this exhibition disrupt the harsh flux of live images churned out seemingly endlessly by television and the digital media. From their reflective stance, they demonstrate the intensity and complexity of suffering.
Stigmata groups together seven contemporary photographers:
• Gustave Germano (Argentina);
• Pieter Hugo (South Africa);
• Shai Kremer (Israel);
• Suzanne Opton (United States);
• Robert Polidori (Canada);
• Dana Popa (Rumania) and
• Christrian Schwager (Switzerland).
From Africa to the Middle East, Argentina to Moldavia, Bosnia and the United States, their work seeks to capture our attention through pictures of both people and places dealing with situations of crisis, be it on the front line, or behind. More concerned by the aftermath of chaos than chaos itself, they all grasp the slight, obvious, or even ambiguous marks of past violence. Parallel to the media’s outpourings, these photographs summon our consciousness to events deliberately sidelined.
This exhibition was organised by the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, at the request of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum.