Our Photography by Night event focuses the lens on contemporary photography: be it a social or political commentary its unique approach presents a harsh and somewhat contorted reality. Technical mastery, know-how and the art of composition all contribute to the communication of the message.
The event comprises an evening of on-going projections of around fifteen minutes each spread over twelve screens throughout the town, a talk by a photographer, and a catalogue release. Each year, this event presents historic retrospectives of famous photographers.
The event explores international photographers of note but also lesser-known photographers discovered in international festivals and across Switzerland. It’s an opportunity for the public to see the most notable photographic works from around the world.
There is one constant throughout the Photography by Night event: the close relationship we maintain with the photographers who participate. From the initial discovery of the images until the very end of the production process, the photographer, even if not present at the event, is closely involved in the presentation process.
As has been the case for previous events, the theme of 2018 came to light during the creation of the programme. This 7th annual event is linked to modern-day politics and photography: damage caused to the environment (Bression et Ayesta, Rekasiutè, Vonplon, Mendel, Marchand et Meffre, Asselin), and violence under its various guises (Serrano, Moleres, Burton, Martin Ackermann), but also, in contrast a poetic vision of the world communicated through technical effects (Bastianini, Gesicka, Hristova, Dashti, Perret, Cziepel).
The event will start with a talk from Philippe Chancel, French photographers, speaking about his work.
The projections will be presented from 7pm until midnight in seven cultural locations across the town, of which 3 are museums.
See the website: www.nuitdelaphoto.ch
Entrance is free but organisers recommend the purchase of the catalogue for 15 CHF, which contains the images from all the photographers.
Throughout the evening, the public will be asked to vote. The photographer who receives the most votes will receive a watch, which constitutes the Ernest-Borel Award. The winner will be announced at 12.30 am. Massimilo Branca, the Italian photographer, won this prize last year.
Since 2017, the event has given 8 chosen photographers the opportunity to present and discuss their work with 8 experts in the field. These experts will then select a photographer, who will earn a place in the 10th Photography by Night event next year. Last year this prize was won by François Vermot.
We took inspiration from les Rencontres d’Arles to create the Night of photography.
Five hundred kilometers further north, at 1000 meters high in the french-speaking area of Switzerland, we are in La Chaux-de-Fonds. This is an industrial city of equivalent size, with a historical past somewhat shorter and less glamorous, but nevertheless a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its industrial town planning related to watchmaking.
We organised the first Night of photography in January 2012 at the same time as the 70th Biennial of Contemporary Art by the Friends of the Museum of Fine Arts, aiming to contribute to the spreading of contemporary photography. In a certain way Lucien Clergue put the event under his umbrella as he decided to come to hold the opening conference at the Club 44 for this first edition.
Organized every winter, the Night is convivial and radiates throughout Switzerland. It takes the form of projections on about twelve screens located in different cultural places in town, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, other museums, the Club 44, the Cultural Centre ABC and one outside site. On each screen images are shown in a loop, each cycle lasting 15 to 20 minutes and presenting three or four photographers. The public moves from one place to the other at his good will. The sixth edition will take place on the 18th of February 2017
An opening conference about photography takes place at the Club 44, held by one of the selected photographers. We don’t require the presence of the photographers during the Night, but are happy to welcome the ones who are willing to join us.
We benefit from the support of the Museum of Fine Arts in la Chaux-de-Fonds, the Museum Elysée in Lausanne, the collaboration and support of Sam Stourdzé, director of les Rencontres d’Arles, in France, François Hébel, and Nathalie Herschdorfer, curator of the Museum of Fine Arts in Le Locle.
We also publish a booklet to give the photographers a mark of their participation and to explain their approach of photography, their works and artistic process to the public. It is distributed during the Night and sent to les Rencontres d’Arles as part of the « livre photographique de l’année » (photographic book of the year).
An Audience Award is given at the end of the Night, the public voting for his favourite photographer during the evening.
The festival is free of charge in all the different participating cultural places in town.
The Night of Photography is a non-profit organization.