Olivier Pasqual


Olivier Pasqual

Photo research about the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne


Jury report

Precisely and coolly staged
Olivier Pasqual cre­ated a se­ries of pho­tographs of the Ecole Poly­tech­nique Fédérale de Lau­sanne (EPFL), com­mis­sioned by the Gav­il­let & Rust graphic de­sign prac­tice. The pho­tographs show com­plex ma­chine con­structs and peo­ple in pro­tec­tive cloth­ing and white over­alls, star­ing at com­put­ers, op­er­at­ing ma­chines or busy­ing them­selves with ma­te­r­ial sam­ples. The pho­tos give no clear in­di­ca­tion of what is being ex­per­i­mented with and tested; on the con­trary, they fluc­tu­ate be­tween ar­ti­fi­cial stag­ing and re­al­is­tic re­portage and so the some­times over-egged lab scenes are rem­i­nis­cent of scary scenes from sci­ence fic­tion movies. The ar­ti­fi­cial­ity of the lo­ca­tion is skil­fully staged and the peo­ple seem like pup­pets among the ma­chines. The white paper roll, as used by pho­tog­ra­phers for neu­tral back­grounds in the stu­dio, is a more or less hid­den clue to the pho­to­graphic stag­ing.
Oliver Pasqual achieved his aim of cre­at­ing a se­ries of im­ages lo­cated be­tween fic­tion and re­port, as well as cre­at­ing and de­pict­ing a tech­ni­cally per­fect but sub­lim­i­nally eerie at­mos­phere. One never re­ally knows what is being ex­am­ined, tested and pro­duced in these labs. Even though this work was com­mis­sioned, this am­biva­lence has been skil­fully staged. The work is so per­sua­sive be­cause of the way it in­ten­si­fies the ar­ti­fi­cial at­mos­phere, its pre­cise, coolly cal­cu­lated stag­ing and its skil­ful games with ref­er­ences to tra­di­tional pho­to­graphic gen­res.
Au­re­lia Müller


Olivier Pasqual
Born in
designer HES en communication visuelle