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A tiny silhouette, naked against a background of tall acid pink fir trees, the marmorean flesh of an antique bust delicately caressed, the haughty and scrutinising gaze of a pair of male portraits, fingers pointing the pages of a sacred book or pulling at the carcass of a small bird… Lisa Lurati’s universe is populated by solemn characters, absorbed in enigmatic rituals, which the camera barely captures. Her images are as many fragments of an inaccessible world, which the artist collects and offers us, and in which bodies abound, indistinctly made of flesh, marble or paint, all sternly busying themselves with activities equally banal and sibylline. While any fixed meaning eludes these assemblages of images, many motifs remain recognisable and echo each other throughout the exhibition: the bodies of statues mingling with living bodies, lush vegetation, painted face that come to life through the alterations made by the artist.

Lisa Lurati works from a hybrid visual material, indifferently found or produced by the artist and then constantly mixed, manipulated and transformed to create new images of which multiple versions exist, and which are then assembled in series. Her strong and singular visual language leaves identifiable the different imageries she appropriates, in particular in the exhibition the history of Western art and its emblematic motifs. She belongs to a generation of artists who use photography as the raw material from which they carve a distinctive visual universe, seldom working in separate series with fixed limits. In the exhibition, the diverse origins and textures of the images are underlined by their materiality: framed photographs, images printed on plexiglass and mirrors, or even on fabric overflowing from the wall.

Scherzo. Molto allegro quasi presto – Italian classical music notation terms for a short, humorous and fast-paced piece – is the first solo exhibition by Swiss artist Lisa Lurati. It comprises a majority of new works, all of which were produced for the exhibition.

Born in 1989, Lisa Lurati trained at the Vevey School of Photography (CEPV) from 2011 to 2015. Since 2013 her work has been presented in collective exhibitions and publications in Switzerland and Germany. She lives and works in Lugano and Berlin, and was during the spring 2018 artist in residence at the Villa Ruffieux in Sierre.

Curator: Danaé Panchaud

All images: © Lisa Lurati 2018

© Photoforum Pasquart 2018

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Pro Helvetia, Oertli Foundation and Swisslos – Repubblica e Cantone Ticino DECS.

The silkscreen were made at atelier Multiples et Editions d’artistes – ECAV by Nicolas Wagnières. The frames were made by Goupie Goupek.