Virginie Rebetez



Who: Virginie Rebetez is a photographer who questions the status of documentary photography. Her works explore how far photography can complement and invent the realities it is addressing.

When: Rebetez, who graduated in photography in 2005 from the Photography School, Vevey, and in 2008 from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, already has an established career as a photographer.

She has published two books — Out of the Blue, 2016, and Malleus Maleficarum, 2018 — with the photobook publisher Meta/Books. In 2016, Out of the Blue was shortlisted for the “Author Photobook Award” in Arles, as well as the “Paris Photo — Aperture Foundation First Photobook Award”. The book is currently presented in the show Mutable/Multiple at Gallery Quad, Derby, UK.

Where: Rebetez has received many awards from art institutions: L’Enquête photographique fribourgeoise 2018 (CH, 2017), La Fondation Leenaards (CH, 2014), Prix Leica 29th Festival of Photography and Fashion Hyères (F, 2014) as well as a Swiss Design Award (CH, 2014).

What: In September 2017, Virginie Rebetez was selected by the Service de la Culture du Canton de Fribourg to realise “L’Enquête photographique fribourgeoise 2018”. Rather than setting out to record an existing situation, Rebetez decided to build her investigation of the place around the story of a man who was accused of witchcraft and burnt in 1628.

Her investigation thus engages with the spiritual, invisible and neglected. The photographs therefore never show what one sees, and every item opens new doors rather than drawing a conclusion.

In her work Malleus Maleficarum, Rebetez proposes a complete rethink of the “photographic survey”, in which culture becomes more than ever the landscape of our collective experience.

Why: Malleus Maleficarum is an unexpectedly personal and intimate book, reflecting on life and embracing the unknown, and at the same time boldly testing the abilities of photographic language to represent reality and beyond.” (Olga Yatskevich)

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