New York, 2003, spectacular security frenzy around the President of the Swiss Confederation Pascal Couchepin â a striking image to the eye of the photographer present at the scene. Christian Lutz thus invited himself in the suitcases of the ministerial delegation and documented its various official activities during three years. The first volume of what will become a trilogy on the issue of power is published in 2007 : Protokoll. Tropical Gift, dealing with the oil and gas trading in Nigeria, is released in 2010. After portraying the rigorously codified and staged political sphere, the photographerâs cutting eye unveils the malodorous traps of a deadly economic power, with troubling visual poetry. In his viewfinder, reality unnoticeably shifts into a heady thriller. The first two parts of his trilogy have been exhibited worldwide, establishing Christian Lutz as an eminent photographer.
The fate of his yet unreleased third series, In Jesusâ Name, is quite different. Christian Lutz spent a year within a Zurich-based evangelical community. Celebrations and rock concerts, summer camps and blood donation rallies, he photographed all the events he was invited to attend. However, a Zurich Court of Justice banned the book immediately upon its release in November 2012 as 21 people appearing in the volume filed complaints to protect their image; complaints that were carefully orchestrated by the Churchâs managers. With these provisional measures, the Court nonetheless ruled against the freedoms of expression and information.
The exhibition Trilogy shows the full three-fold investigation, with a peculiar light shed onto the latest series; a series that in turn reveals yet another power : the judiciary. Troubling and destabilizing, this fourth power questions democracy and artistic freedom. As it pushes art into a corner, it seems to compel it to reconnect with its political dimension, and to test established systems by triggering debate.