Who: Yann Gross explores issues of identity and subjectivity through the means of documentary and experimental photography. Arguiñe Escandón is a photographer focussing on the changing relationships between people and their environment.
Gross was awarded the visual arts scholarship of the Canton de Vaud in 2017. Previously, in 2015, he received the Luma Rencontres Dummy Award, Arles and the Prix de photographie des droits humains from the Act On Your Future Foundation. In 2010 he won a Swiss Design Award with the project Kitintale.
Escandón, who holds a master’s in photography from EFTi, Madrid, and a postgraduate degree in personal coaching and emotional intelligence from the Camilo José Cela University, Madrid, received a scholarship for the master’s in cultural projects management from La Fábrica, Madrid in 2015. Her series Where the Wild Plants grow has been shown 2017 at the Verzasca Photo Festival.
Where: Gross' previous project The Jungle Show was shown at Les Rencontres d’Arles, Jimei x Arles, Xiamen, the Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris and Art Bärtschi & Cie, Geneva. The Jungle Book, was published by Aperture, Actes Sud and Editorial RM
What: Aya is their newest project, shown for the first time in Switzerland, is the result of long-term research in the Amazon.
Divided into three parts, the project starts by following in the footsteps of Charles Kroehle, a French photographer and explorer who became lost in the Peruvian Amazon at the end of the 19th century. The first part presents archival research into photographs by Kroehle. In the second, Escandón and Gross go into the jungle and meet the people living there. While there, they create a series of portraits integrating their subjective experience. Finally, they develop an experimental mode of photographic recording of the landscape, based on the photo-sensitive properties of the local medicinal plants.
An exhibition and the publication of a new book are planned at Galerie Wilde, Geneva, in November 2019.
Why: "The unknown is the tale that has not arrived yet. It is what must be found. During our journey we collected many informations, more empirical than rational, and stories about plants told by the indigenous communities." (Escandón & Gross)