MAISON DES PEINTRES
1 JULY – 22 SEPTEMBER
Following his immersion in the realm of power, Christian Lutz enters the world of casinos: first in Las Vegas for his Insert Coins series, and more recently in Macao for The Pearl River. The Eldorado exhibition sets up a dialogue between the two series. While working in Las Vegas, the photographer soon realized that Sin City’s shimmering sets were crumbling.
The city revealed its flaws and inhumanity. Christian Lutz decided to visit what is now called “the new Las Vegas”, where he encountered yet another reality. For the past fifteen years, Macao has supplanted Las Vegas in terms of the wealth generated by the tremendous earnings of the gambling world. Once upon a time in America, now China.
Exhibition design: Pablo Lavalley.
Publications: Insert Coins, Éditions André Frères, 2016.
The Pearl River, Éditions Patrick Frey, 2019.
Pigmentary prints by Patrick Schranz, Bex on Hanhemühle FineArt paper Photo Rag® Baryta 315g.
Framing by Circad, Paris.
Drymounting by Deuxième Œil, Paris.
With support from the Swiss Confederation, the contemporary art fund and the Canton of Geneva, the Department of Culture and Sport and the Contemporary art fund of the City of Geneva, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and Hahnemühle FineArt.
Las Vegas has imposed her lights and her share of the dream in the very heart of the Mojave desert. Sin City is not only the primary city in the State of Nevada but it’s also one of the leading tourist destinations in the United States, as travel guides praise her euphoria and lure visitors to taste the most extraordinary experiences in her lap.
Throughout the decades, the resort city’s lucrative economic activity has also made her an attractive employer with an ever-growing population. Amid financial crises, Las Vegas relentlessly seduces.
Sparkling, ultra-liberal, intersected by the famous Strip and brimming with monumental casino-hotels, this stronghold of the mafia and prostitution combines extremes and excesses. Here, gambling and sex prevail in countless parties and addictions, whilst fates are determined in a game of poker or the spin of a roulette.
It is in the heart of this quintessential, Made in USA, a symbol of entertainment that Christian Lutz carries out his visual work between 2011 and 2014.
His keen sense of observation slices through the illusionary varnishes of artificial joys and exposes the aimless wanderings of lonely individuals spewed out by the carnivorous casinos as so many other silent shatters of a harmful liberal system.
The Pearl River, the latest book by Christian Lutz, just published by Editions Patrick Frey, shows once again how important the narrative is – and mastered – in the Geneva photographer. With a very thoughtful sequence, Lutz delivers his disenchanted vision of a world that is running to ruin. As always, the light and the framing are very worked, the sequence takes on cinematographic finery.