20 – Benoît Jeannet

Switzerland / Spain (1991)

Escape from Paradise

Benoît Jeannet graduated in photography at the CEPV/Centre d’enseignement professionnel de Vevey and ECAL/Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, then went on to obtain a master’s degree in visual arts at HEAD/Haute école d’art et de design de Genève. His artist’s studio has become a laboratory for remote observation of the Pacific Islands. His installation Escape from Paradise presents the results of his visual research on the popular and Western perception of the concept of exoticism. A brightly coloured Hawaiian shirt, pineapple plantations, and atomic bomb tests on Bikini Atoll are just some examples of the things that have shaped our mental image of the Hawaiian archipelago. Benoît Jeannet transforms these into sculptural photographic objects. These elements of popular imagery function as sugarcoated propaganda tools, open to multiple and contradictory interpretations.

Escape from Paradise by Benoît Jeannet received the Mention Lumières Broncolor from Grand Prix Images Vevey 2019/2020, presided over by Dayanita Singh.