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Artworks:

Jules Spinatsch

Welcome to Photostudio Titlis , 2008
20 inkjet prints on aluminium
90.0 x 60.0 cm each
Independently of their iconography, Jules Spinatsch’s works constantly reflect the artist’s interest in both the conditions for creating images and their reception. For his Welcome to Photostudio Titlis project, the artist reused souvenir portraits of passing tourists taken by Tony Camenzind in his professional photography studio on the peak of Mount Titlis by Engelberg in the Swiss Alps.

Accessories, setting and costumes representing the different regions of Switzerland compose the stereotypical folk picture of a country filled with idyllic mountains. Indians, Chinese, South Americans, Israelis, or Saudis, travellers from a host of countries who profess a range of beliefs, all in search of souvenirs, don a Swiss identity for the time it takes to snap a photo. Together they create a depiction of Switzerland that is both multiethnic and anonymous.

By availing himself of photographs that he did not himself originally shoot, Spinatsch appropriates certain tourism codes in order to shift them into the field of art and point up questions of cultural belonging, self-depiction and the construction of identities. Without directly calling into question the notion of the paternity of the artwork, this decontextualisation aims rather to shake up the borders between art and popular culture.

Enlarged and shown serially in a museum display, which they were not originally intended for, the images lose both their private character and their memorial function, thus painting an offbeat portrait of our globalised society. This particular project presents Spinatsch’s work as a dialectical critique of the visual arts, and the interest of that critique lies not in the personal expression of the artist but in the use of the medium of photography as a way of actively participating in on-going social processes.
Jules Spinatsch, Welcome to Photostudio Titlis , 2006 (2008)
Jules Spinatsch, Welcome to Photostudio Titlis , 2006 (2008)
Jules Spinatsch, Welcome to Photostudio Titlis , 2006 (2008)
Jules Spinatsch, Welcome to Photostudio Titlis , 2006 (2008)
Jules Spinatsch, Welcome to Photostudio Titlis , 2006 (2008)
Jules Spinatsch, Welcome to Photostudio Titlis , 2006 (2008)
Jules Spinatsch, Welcome to Photostudio Titlis , 2006 (2008)
Jules Spinatsch, Welcome to Photostudio Titlis , 2006 (2008)