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Changing Rio

As Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second city with its 12 million inhabitants, is now preparing to welcome the Olympic Games this summer after hosting the World Cup two years ago, and whereas the country is suffering from a political crisis linked to an important corruption scandal, the photographer captures the transformation of the metropolis and its population within its diversity.

“For quite some time now, Rio has been the negative example of social inequality. Will this city of millions end up as a modernized and peaceful winner after the Olympic Games? Or will one only have memories of a big international event ? Will nothing have otherwise changed ?”

Rio est une ville en plein bouleversement. En vue des Jeux, il ne suffit pas de construire des installations sportives, il faut équiper toute la ville et tenter de rapprocher les 12 millions d’habitants de la mégalopole. Transformation de quartiers, pacification des favelas, rêve ou réalité?

Changing Rio_Michael von Graffenried

Le photographe Michael von Graffenried a posé, depuis deux ans, son regard sur Rio. Il le transmet dans un livre, Changing Rio, publié aux éditions Slatkine.

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Works

mvg_Rio_#12_favelaMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #12
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#14_Favela_groundMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #14
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#24_foot_equipeMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #24
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#25_kidsMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #25
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#28_PapageiMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #28
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#29__MilitarMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #29
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#30_favela_girlMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #30
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#32_men_paradeMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #32
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#33_Militar_scooterMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #33
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#34_NonnenMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #34
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#37_weddingMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #37
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#44_boys_girlsMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #44
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#45_viewMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #45
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#46_selfigirlsMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #46
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#52_NegroMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #52
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#57_blackgirlsMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #57
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#58_CarnevalMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #58
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#64_Polizia_relaxMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #64
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

mvg_Rio_#66_CrossingMichael von Graffenried, Changing Rio, 2014-2016, #66
Archival pigment print, 42 x 104 cm / 16,5 x 50 inches (edition of 7) or Lambda print 124,5 x 300 cm / 49 x 118 inches (edition of 3)

 

Media Coverage

RTS Sport-Première, Samedi 14.05.2016, 19h03
Changing Rio

Changing_rio_illustreL’Illustré 17, 2016 (PDF)

St_Galler_Tagblatt_imageSt.Galler Tagblatt, 06.05.2016

HebdoL’Hebdo

Bierfest

All year long, the people of Munich look forward to the Oktoberfest. When the time has come, the city’s inhabitants, joined by tourists from all over the world, put on their Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses and gather on the Wiesn. With seven million litres of beer flowing at record speed, social boundaries are soon overstepped. The grass by the tents is used as urinals and becomes strewn with intoxicated corpses, while the police and medical teams try to keep up with sinking inhibition thresholds. Bierfest shines a light on the decadent side of what is probably the most famous folk festival, and celebrates its nostalgia and mass elirium in equal measure.

“I sometimes felt
as in a civil war”
Michael von Graffenried

Michael von Graffenried was born in Bern in 1957 and lives in Paris. He started out as a photojournalist and today works on long-time projects using different media. His photographs were exhibited in France, Switzerland, New York, Algier, Hong Kong and Beirut and are part of various international collections. He was the third Swiss photographer, after Robert Frank and René Burri, to receive the Dr.-Erich-Salomon-Prize of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (German Society of Photography).

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Book Michael von Graffenried Bierfest — Book design by Michael von Graffenried and Gerhard Steidl 128 pages 11.6 x 9.4 inches / 29.5 x 24 cm 55 double-page panorama photographs Four – colour process Hardcover — Euro 38 / £ 28 / US$ 45 / CHF 35 ISBN 978-3-86930-680-3 Printed in Germany by Steidl


Ungewöhnliche Fotos vom Oktoberfest

Bayerischer Rundfunk:
Bürgerkrieg, Flüchtlingskatastrophe, Drogenszene: Michael von Graffenried fotografiert mit einer Amateurkamera, die ihm erlaubt, sich den Menschen unbeobachtet zu nähern. Genau so hat er nun die Besucher der Wiesn fotografiert.

115_Bierfest_Cover_CDBierfest # 0, 2010-2011, Inkjet print, 48 x 110 cm, Édition : 2/7

075_Bierfest_CDBierfest # 3, 2010-2011, Lambda print, 124,5 x 284,5 cm, Édition : 1/3

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109_Bierfest_CD_neuBierfest # 29, 2010-2011, Lambda print, 124,5 x 284,5 cm, Édition : 1/3

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-> Media Coverage Bierfest

On The Edge

For four months artist Michael von Graffenried has been looking carefully at the Indian city of Varanasi (Banaras). He will display 20 panoramic works 6 by 3 meters on public billboards on a 125 meter long wall at Rathyatra Crossing, in the center of the city, from December 1, 2012.

He calls the project “On The Edge” and hopes the images will trigger a response from the people of Varanasi.

Images detailing their daily life in a changing society: A woman who died the day after she was beaten by policemen with sticks, while the authorities have been on their way to tear down some slum huts along a street. In the eyes of the poor population this woman has now become a martyr. High society men and women celebrating the flag on a national holiday.A holy cow being rescued from the post-monsoon mud along the Ganges by strong men who are also struggling to free themselves from the grip of the mud. Shy young girls flirting with boys under the rain machine in the Waterpark. The Guru of Ayurveda welcoming guests at his home celebrating the birthday of Ayurveda. Thousands of women coming once a year to take a bath in Ganges water, worshipping the sun to raise their prospects of having children.

These and others, all daily realities intriguingly displayed by the artist like reflections to the people of Varanasi, variously described as ‘the city of light’ or ‘little India’.

Michael von Graffenried, ON THE EDGE
Public Billboard Installation on Rathryata Crossing
from December 1 to 31, 2012 presented by Kriti Gallery

Kriti Gallery for Contemporary Art
Raja Sir Motichand Roas
Mahmoor Ganj
Varanasi – 221010 INDIA


04_varanasi_mvg 05_varanasi_mvg 06_varanasi_mvg 07_varanasi_mvg 08_varanasi_mvg 09_varanasi_mvg 10_varanasi_mvg 11_varanasi_mvg 12_varanasi_mvg 13_varanasi_mvg 14_varanasi_mvg 15_varanasi_mvg 16_varanasi_mvg 17_varanasi_mvg 18_varanasi_mvg 03_varanasi_mvgjpg 19_varanasi_mvg 20_varanasi_mvg 21_varanasi_mvg 107_varanasi_mvg451_varanasi_mvgGoddess Durga, 2012, Lambda print, 124,5 x 284,5 cm, Édition : 1/3

Shoreditch Stories


Photographer Michael von Graffenried shot with his panoramic camera the people in their homes. They are all patients of Shoreditch Park Surgery in Hackney London. A collaboration of medicine and art.
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Eye on Africa

“The boy on the trunk is a pygmee from the Baka tribe. Because of industrial logging, his future in the equatorial forest is bleak. To explain my work, I often use the word “encounter”. I want to confront people who would never normally meet. For these encounters to take place, I try to photography people in “real” situations. I then transfer the images in the viewer’s environment, thus the panoramic format. The viewer can then delve directly into the event, and feels he is himself within the picture frame.

“Photography is the perfect excuse to enter the dream, this world where we do not belong.”

Albertine Bourget, January 2009 – in the book eye on africa

These 32 panoramic images, made over two one-month stays in Cameroon, were printed on publicity boards in five Swiss cities. It is my goal and my hope that the viewer will let himself plunge in the image and, maybe, reduce the distance and fear between the African and himself. Eye on Africa wants to show the diversiy and beauty of an African country, far from the poverty and violence usually associated with the African continent.”

25KribiSea_Eye_on_Africa_mvg Coucher de soleil sur l’océan Ekribi, la riviera du Cameroun, 2009, ink jet print, 125 x 284 cm, Édition : 1/319Mask_Eye_on_Africa_mvgWum, 2008, Lambda print, 125 x 284 cm, Édition : 1/3 BakaBoyGR._Eye_on_Africa_mvgBaka boy, 2009, Lambda print, 110 x 48 cm, Édition : 1/507Youngsters_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 05Funeral_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 00Generals_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 08Football_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 09Kalebasse_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 10TwoBoys_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 11Accident_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 12Fisherman_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 14Sandworker_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 15Shirtvernder_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 16Workers_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 17TaxiMoto_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 18WomanSultan_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 20FuneralPig_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 21Jogging_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 22BrassBand_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 23sisters_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 24Clothesmarket_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 26RiotPolice_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 27Magie_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 28Scoolboys_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 29Horse_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 31HighSociety_Eye_on_Africa_mvg 32PygmeaFamily_Eye_on_Africa_mvgDeuxCabannes

London Calling

“In november 2009, when a majority of swiss voters backed a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets, i decided to stop showing my work in my home country, except for the swiss mosques that would be willing to host it. I will stand by my decision until the constitution starts respecting human rights again. By chance, ten days after the referendum, I saw the erection of a silver minaret in the famous brick lane, in the london east end neighbourhood where I had been living for several months.

London_Calling_Brick_Lane London_Calling_Supermarket London_Calling_SainsburysBestLondon_Calling_Parrot London_Calling_London London_Calling_Halloween London_Calling_H1N1 London_Calling_FridayPrayer London_Calling_EastEndMosque London_Calling_City London_Calling_Christmastree London_Calling_CarolSinger London_Calling_Burial London_Calling_EastEndMosque2

Inside Cairo

“The artist overcame the obstacles of fear – not his – and Egyptians’ automatic temptation to self-censor when he was finally able to exhibit his photographic tableaux in the most unconventional gallery: the rooftop of his building.”

Aida Nassar, The Daily Star Egypt, supplement of the International Herald Tribune, March 30, 2007

“ I went to Cairo on a three-month artist residency grant. I soon met a local gallerist, who expressed interest in my work. But he then called me to say that he had could not sleep at night and that he would lose the gallery if he showed my work. I first had a picture of the Birqash camel market printed on canvas sheet. When I came back with the other pictures, the woman in the shop asked me what the subject matter was. This is Cairo, I said, don’t you recognize your city ? She had her boss come in and look, and he refused to work on the pictures, telling me that, as press material, it must be subjected to official censorship. Naturally, the refusal, the self-censorship, is the result of the severe State censorship. But I can’t help seing in it a kind of hypocrisy as well. My images show nothing more than the city’s daily life, what each and everyone on its inhabitants see with their own eyes everyday. I finally found another printer, and decided to keep silent about my project, which was to show my pictures for a day on a rooftop in the heart of the city. In downtown Cairo, the poorest of the poor, many of them economic refugees from Southern Egypt, live in shacks on the rooftops. My upstairs “neighbours” immediately agreed to share their rooftop. About a hundred people showed up on the day. The Daily Star newspaper published a story about the exhibition a week later.”

The reporters of the Swiss Television TSR covered the rooftop exhibit of Michael von Graffenried in Downtown Cairo on March 23, 2007

roofpanomvg schools_out_for_girlsSchoolgirls, 2007, Lambda print contre-colé sur alu, 126 x 286 cm, Édition : 1/3riotpoliceRiot Police, 2007, Lambda print, contre-colé sur alu, 126 x 286 cm, Édition : 1/3cairo03 cairo04 cairo06 cairo07 cairo08

-> Media Coverage INSIDE CAIRO

Our Town

“ …Graffenrieds images showed New Bern in an unflatering, even racist, light.“
Sun Journal, New Bern, NC – Thursday, September 27, 2007

«When Swiss Roots, an organization that offers Americans a chance to trace their Swiss history, approached me with the idea of going to New Bern, I first said no. New Bern, where Pepsi Cola was born, is a small town in North Carolina. It was founded by a family ancestor, Christoph von Graffenried, who had sailed for America in 1710, and I felt I’d worked enough on Switzerland for the time being. But on second thoughts, I decided I could use this family tie to open up the doors of this uneventful town. I went there several times over the year 2006. I wanted to hand America a looking-glass. A first selection of 33 panoramic pictures was shown in New Bern under the name “Our Town – an inside look at the United States today ». New Bern’s inhabitants did not like my version of their American life. Over the course of two months, local newspaper The Sun published eight articles without once publishing a picture, be it to announce the exhibition or to illustrate the debate over the project. I wonder if the freedom of the press in America is so obvious after all.»

033flags 032PledgeofAllegiance2 031Mexicans 030chiefofpolice2 029PublicUrination 028Backyard 027Deckparty 026Pose 025BlackNeighbourhood 024Nightlife 023Heroes 022Weight loss 021HighschoolGirls 020Pregnancy 019FactoryWorker 018Guns 017Baseball Baseball, 2006, C-print / Aludibond, 298 x 125 cm, Édition : ap/3
016Nextdoor 015MuslimRefugees2 014SoupKitchen2 013Beauty 012Faith Cherry Point Marine Base, North Carolina, USA, 2006 (Serie Our Town)Underwater Marines, 2006, Lambda print, 298 x 125 cm, Édition : 1/3010Downtown2 009Proms 008Drugs 007BabyShower 006Wedding 005Survival 004CarWash2 003Graduation002School - Version 2 001Pledgeofallegiance


Michael von Graffenried talks with Phil Knight on Channel 12 about his project “Our Town” and the show in the Banks of the Arts in New Bern, NC (October 20, 2006)


Michael von Graffenried interviewed by US Cannel 12 on his starting project “Our Town, an inside look at the United States today” in front of the Town Hall in New Bern, NC (2006)

Cocainelove

«When Réseau Contact, a association that helps Bern’s drug addicts, approached me to do something about drug addicts, I had one condition : that the people I worked with would take responsibility for that reality. They would agree to show their faces and give their true identity. After four long months spent trying to win the confidence of the « scene », as the drug addicts are called in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, I decided to work with Astrid and Peter, because they were a couple. I had two stories to tell, the one about their relationship and the one with the drugs. I followed them for a year and a half, the deals, the prison, the prostitution… Once I had the pictures, I thought that they, too, had a right to see them, and I knew they would not be going to the museum. So I decided to show the pictures where I had taken them: in the streets. In 2005, thirty panoramic images, 106 x 50”, were shown on publicty billboards in Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, Basel, Bern and Zurich, before being shown together in the Platzspitz park, Zurich’s former infamous “needlepark”. This project took me two years and a half, but, just as with my other work, I do not consider it finished. I kept in touch with Peter and Astrid. My entering their lives did not change it in any way. In November 2008, Astrid died of an overdose. She was 36.»


Cocainelove_mvg_p94_95 Cocainelove_mvg_p88_89 Cocainelove_mvg_p78_79 Cocainelove_mvg_p58_59 Cocainelove_mvg_p56_57 Cocainelove_mvg_p52_53 Cocainelove_mvg_p32_33 Cocainelove_mvg_p26_27 Cocainelove_mvg_p22_23 Cocainelove_mvg_11 Cocainelove_mvg_04 Cocainelove_mvg_03 Cocainelove_mvg_02Astrid et Pierre 1, 2004, Gelatin silver print, 298 x 125 cm

Naked in Paradise

The first hour without clothes was difficult but I soon began to feel confident. The site was surrounded by a high wall – taking photographs was forbidden – and it was only after much talking that I was given permission to go ahead.

“I first heard of the Lichtfreunde (Friends of Light), a naturist camp by the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, through my officer in command at the compulsory military service. He was the camp’s president. I was intrigued and decided to check it out. The camp is protected by a wall and taking pictures was prohibited. I spent a week there and had to lay myself bare, artistically by showing and explaining my previous work, and literally. It took several meetings to gain the permission to shoot. The camp divided itself between the opponents and the ones who agreed but whom I then had to remind again and again that the pictures were going to be seen by everyone; many of them could not take the risk of others, family members, neighbours and work colleagues, to learn where they spent summer. I went back to the camp for several years, winning the people’s confidence. The pictures were publised in the press and were made into a book, Naked in Paradise, after eight years.”

naked_in_paradise_020 Early morning Yoga at Nudist Camp, Thielle Switzerland, 1996, Gelatin silver print, 24 x 36 cm, Édition : 1/nl
naked_in_paradise_022 naked_in_paradise_024 naked_in_paradise_026 Glace, 1996, Gelatin silver print, 24 x 35 cm, Édition : 1/nl
naked_in_paradise_035 naked_in_paradise_051 Jongleuse, 1996, Gelatin silver print, 36 x 24 cm, Édition : 1/nl
naked_in_paradise_061 naked_in_paradise_064 Femme dans l’eau, 1996, Gelatin silver print, 36,5 x 24 cm, Édition : 2/99
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