The fourth Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival will take place in Xiamen, China. Co-created in 2015 by pioneer Chinese photographer Rong Rong, founder of China’s first photography museum Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, and Sam Stourdzé, the director of Rencontres d’Arles in France, Jimei x Arles has grown to become an unmissable event for photo lovers in China in just three years, attracting more than 160,000 visitors.
For its fourth edition, Jimei x Arles will present at their main venue two major photographers from Switzerland, Matthieu Gafsou (with the support of Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council) and René Burri. Gafsou will give guided tours and attend the forum during the opening weekend.
Born 1981, Aubonne, Switzerland. Lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland. Matthieu Gafsou earned a master’s degree in film, literature, and philosophy before attending the Vevey School of Photography. Since 2006, he has participated in many exhibitions, published five books, and won several awards. In 2014, the Musée de l’Élysée hosted a solo show of his work, Only God Can Judge Me. He has taught at ECAL since 2012 and been a member of the MAPS agency since its creation in 2017.
H+ is the title of Gafsou’s exhibition at Jimei x Arles. It focuses on transhumanism, a movement advocating the use of science and technology to enhance humans’ physical and mental abilities. H+’s photographs are elliptical and have little context. Taken one by one, they baffle more than they explain. Seen together, they weave a web of discourse. Artificial, they resemble their subject: it is no longer known whether the living dies by becoming machines or inanimate objects spring to life. H+ talks about our bodies, our everyday lives, and our relationship to technology, as well as opening up future prospects. No response is given, but the exhibition can work both as a tool to think about a key issue of our time and as a poetic space that confronts us with the absurdity of our finiteness.
(Banner: Courtesy of the artist, Galerie C and MAPS. )