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DOWNtown - 5, Place Bel Air, Genève, 2008
Lambda print
85.0 x 60.0 x 4.0 cm
The series of photographs called DOWNtown features Geneva’s city centre, although this downtown is shorn of a good part of its architecture. Indeed, only the top floors of buildings remain, suddenly brought down to street level in a reduction of the city landscape. Through this subtraction, the photographed buildings present a face that is truncated but familiar, giving rise to a disturbing impression of déjà vu because the image we see and our memory of the physical reality behind it do not jibe in crucial ways.

Supposing that cities are built with specific types of architecture linked to different zones, we can distinguish between city centres, which are organised vertically and in a condensed multifunctional way, and outlying areas, which are constructed horizontally with each building being devoted to a unique function. By manipulating images, collectif_fact thus transforms a downtown into an area that ought to be found on the city outskirts, modifying the status and function of a well-known site.

A manipulator of space and a kind of city planner, collectif_fact (re)creates an uninhabitable city while displaying the phenomena of reality in its most minute details. Transfiguring the city, the collective plays with our visual habits and strives to thwart them in order to reveal them all the more effectively
collectif_fact (Annelore Schneider/Claude Piguet/Swann Thommen), DOWNtown - 5, Place Bel Air, Genève, 2008