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Contemporary Photography and Sculptures in Munich on view at the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung
Silvia Levenson, Baby Fox, 2011. Kiln-cast glass, fabric, fiberglass. H 100 x 42 x 32 cm. Photo: Marco Del Comune © Marco Del Comune, Image courtesy of Bullseye Projects. Reprint free of charge as part of the exhibiton at Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung, Munich.

MUNICH.- Continuing its series of thematic exhibitions, the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung shows contemporary photographs and sculptures until 2 September 2016. Entitled Life is Not a Beach, the exhibition addresses the dark sides of life. One example is the oppressive world of drug addicts. The photographer Matthieu Gafsou documents these in his thirty photographs in an authentic and at the same time poetically sensible manner. The twenty sculptures, the second focus of the exhibition, were made of the everyday and yet many-sided material glass as well as mixed media. In their diverse works, internationally renowned artists (including Philip Baldwin & Monica Guggisberg, Mona Hatoum, Silvia Levenson, Janusz Walentynowicz) and young artists take a profound look at people’s general fears as well as their inner and outer conflicts.

The Photographs of Matthieu Gafsou
The photographs come from the project „Only God Can Judge Me“ by the Swiss photographer Matthieu Gafsou. He took photographs in Lausanne’s drug scene for more than a year. By using various formal approaches, he prosaically and at the same time emphatically documented the life of addicts. His dignified portraits of longtime drug abusers with their sharp-featured faces stirringly personalize a social problem. With still lifes he captured their contradictory living environment. Hard documentary close-ups of drug packets, drug paraphernalia, aseptic drug consumption rooms, surveillance cameras, etc. provide a direct impression of the addicts’ daily struggle for survival. By contrast, Gafsou’s poetic photographs of the scene’s nocturnal showplaces allow viewers to intuit the desirable sides of the high.

Matthieu Gafsou (born 1981) studied photography at the School of Applied Arts in Vevey and graduated from the University of Lausanne with a master’s degree. His photographs have been shown in various solo and group exhibitions in the USA and Europe and are represented in numerous collections. In 2009, he received the „Prix de la foundation HSBC pour la photographie“. He lives in Lausanne and teaches at the University of Art and Design.

Sculptures Made of Glass and Mixed Media
International artists use another material for their sculptures to interpret the subject of the exhibition: glass as well as mixed media. In the hands of the artists the material glass — so familiar to us from our everyday life — transforms into a many layered, sometimes unexpected medium. With its complexities and capacity to provide insight into various levels, the material glass in particular is predestined to emphatically present the dark sides of life.

The dark blue glass sea measuring one meter (Maria Lugossy) and an ossified seated figure (Janusz Walentynowicz) abstract the deep valley of depression. HIV and Ebola glass viruses that viewers can look inside of address the fear of terminal diseases (Luke Jerram). A young fox dressed in girls’ clothes dramatically illustrates the emotional as well as bodily damages that children and adolescents may suffer (Silvia Levenson). An installation of bottle halves measuring 2,50 meters emphatically points up the hopelessness of trying to solve problems with addictive substances (Mona Hatoum). The work of a Japanese artist (Shige Fujishiro) draws attention to the problem of street people with an artful caricature of a Chanel shopping bag made of glass beads.

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