Citizens - Exhibition of the photographer Christian Lutz
On the occasion of the FIFDH, Flux Laboratory presents the exhibition Citizens by the artist photographer Christian Lutz.
"I live in a country, Switzerland, where the populist right is the leading political party in government.
The power of the populist right-wing parties affects the whole of Europe.
For seven years I have travelled through European territories in the footsteps of these "common sense" parties that promise a better life.
Populism is an evil fairy, it charms with words announcing future happiness. It manages to make us forget that its nets are toxic, that they produce segregation, exclusion and despair. Its arguments send us back to our physical and symbolic borders; they prepare the ground for social warfare, phobias, asphyxiation of thought and of the human bond. They manipulate our minds and instincts.
The parties that spread this ideology are familiar birds that suddenly attack. They are part of the landscape; they lodge themselves in industrial wastelands, in quiet, middle-class cities, in the eyes of individuals. They are there, in every inattention to our moral values, in every breach that fear makes."
This story is a bit of a tale of a Europe grappling with itself and the redefinition of its values.
The photographs in the Citizens series were produced between 2013 and 2020, during trips to Switzerland, France, the UK, Hungary, Denmark, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands."
Between 2003 and 2012, the photographer Christian Lutz produced a trilogy on the theme of power: first political with Protokoll, then economic with Tropical Gift and religious with In Jesus' Name. The three parts were each the subject of a book published by Lars Müller and the trilogy was exhibited on numerous occasions. In 2016 Insert Coins was published by André Frère and in 2019 The Pearl River by Patrick Frey. Both series were presented under the title Eldorado at the Rencontres internationales de la photographie d'Arles in 2019. In 2021, Christian Lutz published Citizens with Patrick Frey. This work is the result of several years of travel in European territories under populist influence.
Crédits: Courtesy Galerie C (Neuchâtel / Paris)