BEAT STREULI

born in 1957 in Altdorf, Switzerland. Lives and works in Düsseldorf. .

Beat Streuli
Enghien-les-Bains, 1998,
serie of nine colour photographs (175x120 cm)
posted on illuminated hoardings around the town
(photography Q.Bertoux)

Portraits
Whatever the support or mode of presentation used by Beat Streuli for his images, the underlying principle remains constant: he takes outdoor photographs using a telephoto lens. His essentially urban images show details of architecture, of people, sometimes of isolated faces or of virtually abstract details. The use of the telephoto lens naturally reflects a desire not to be seen, but this is not voyeurism: quite simply, if Streuli's subjects were to notice him they would almost automatically pose. And what Streuli seeks to capture are moments when people are neither focused on the outside (on others, the world around them), nor taken up in an inner reflection - in other words, moments when they are themselves and appear without artifice. We can thus grasp the value of anonymity - that of the photographer, who is invisible and does not wish to act on what he is photographing, and that of the subjects who are not there to be identified (Streuli does not attempt to make classical portraits revealing an identity that is more or less social) and the anonymity of the images when they are placed, as at Enghien, in the form of posters in the urban space without any explanation or identification of the artist. His images also have an archetypal value. This apparent paradox is due to the fact that art has a power that exceeds the individual work. For example, Oxford Street (which he made for the Tate Gallery, London, in 1997), has a dramatic intensity which can set us thinking about the nature of our contemporary urbanised world in which social and amicable relations are extremely tenuous, if not totally absent.

the work for Enghien:
For each project, Beat Streuli produces a series that has its own particularities in relation to the others. These particularities are due both to the place itself (a given neighbourhood of New York has a very different atmosphere from one in Vienna during the summer, etc.) and to the particular reached by the artist's work at the time (showing people in groups or, on the contrary, in isolation; emphasising their face or their movements, etc.). In 1997, in situ showed nine images from the Tokyo, Shibuya 97 series in the streets of Enghien. Nine hoardings presented isolated images of young Japanese, waiting. In 1998, Streuli has opted for "posed photographs" taken in Enghien, silent images of young people out walking on the jetty one early spring day.

Description : ten posters placed in the usual advertising locations, all around the town of Enghien

Localisation : around the town - near the railway station, on Rue de la Libˇration, around the lake, in bus shelters or on independent hoardings. Permanent public access.