After publishing his photographic collection, "Voyage en Suisse" ("Journey to Switzerland"), Geneva photographer Patrick Gilliéron Lopreno continues his wanderings on the outskirts of an iconic Switzerland with "Eloge de l’invisible" ("Praise for the Invisible").
The photographer's new work has been enriched by an encounter, as unlikely as it is successful, with writer, publisher and polemicist Slobodan Despot, who wrote the preface.
Left-leaning Lopreno and rightwing Despot shared their views on the Swiss landscape, its spirituality blighted by modernity. They found themselves also in agreement in their rejection of labels and fashions, as well as in their thirst for freedom.
"Anti-modern, anti-liberal, anti-system", as Swiss newspaper Le Tempsexternal link described him, Slobodan Despot was totally in tune with Lopreno's work: "A book of photographs itself is a gesture of resistance", he wrote. Resistance to what?
"First, to massification... photography, which was at first a highly scientific craft, became an art, a testimony and a language before drowning in advertising, then in the terrible democratisation of the smartphone," wrote the former collaborator and director of the l’Âge d’Homme publishing house, famous for publishing works in French by Soviet dissidents.
"It made me think about the history of photography when I observed the prints of Patrick Gilliéron Lopreno", added the "camera obscura"external link enthusiast.
Rebellion against the modern world
The novelist and author of works like "Le miel" ("The Honey") also recognises himself in the approach developed by the Geneva photographer in his third work. "It's silly as a truism. The invisible of Lopreno is what is not visible. But what is perceived anyway, as a breath, as a spiritual reality."
To conclude his vibrant preamble: "The eye of Patrick Gilliéron Lopreno is a rebellion against the modern world all on its own. He manages to give shapes and colours to metaphysical realities. What do you call a philosopher who thinks with light?"
Patrick Gilliéron Loprenoexternal link gives us his answer: "We indeed have a shared vision, which comes from these books that I have devoured and from these literary references which also speak to me very much."
Patrick Gilliéron Lopreno, ELOGE DE L’INVISIBLE/LOB DES UNSICHTBAREN, Till Schaab Editionexternal link, September 2018