Olga Cafiero


Olga Cafiero

'Curioso', installation photographique


Jury report

What Curiosity Can Bring Together
How does one com­bine very dif­fer­ent pho­to­graphic im­ages? The Lau­sanne-based de­signer Olga Cafiero com­pleted her mas­ter's de­gree in Art Di­rec­tion at the ECAL in 2011. In her work 'Cu­rioso', she fol­lows the prin­ci­ple of the curio cab­i­net. Just as in an en­cy­clopae­dia, a col­lec­tor brings to­gether very dif­fer­ent ob­jects. Since these are com­bined ac­cord­ing to his taste, in­ter­ests and pas­sions, col­lect­ing is a very sub­jec­tive un­der­tak­ing which cre­ates a per­sonal and often even mag­i­cal world. In chang­ing com­bi­na­tions, Olga Cafiero shows her pho­to­graphic works: very colour­ful plant im­ages, huge ma­chines, por­traits, mys­te­ri­ous an­i­mal skele­tons par­tially cov­ered with a white cloth, a grotesque mon­key head made of plas­ter with its mouth wide open, a table lamp. The at­mos­phere of the in­di­vid­ual pho­tographs is very dif­fer­ent: it varies from banal and down to earth to un­canny. Through her very per­sonal way of hang­ing the pho­tos, Olga Cafiero aims to bring about an en­counter be­tween the world of sci­ence and that of magic. Sci­ence and magic, which used to be closely re­lated but were in­creas­ingly sep­a­rated from each other in the course of his­tory, come face to face in her as­sem­blages. Olga Cafiero writes that with her mix­ture of ar­chi­tec­tural pho­tos, still lifes and doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­phy, she ques­tions pho­tog­ra­phy as such. Her chief mo­tive is her cu­rios­ity, and it is pre­cisely this cu­rios­ity that she would like to arouse in the viewer. Tak­ing a close look and play­ing guess­ing games pay off for the viewer: what do the ex­tremely sober, clin­i­cally clean pic­tures of pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties have to do with por­traits whose light­ing is rem­i­nis­cent of Re­nais­sance paint­ing? Cafiero sharp­ens our eye for strange de­tails: why are the but­tons and hoses in her pic­tures of ma­chin­ery so colour­ful? In her vi­sual cos­mos, Olga Cafiero is look­ing for 'sub­lim­i­nal' ten­sions and con­nec­tions be­tween in­di­vid­ual im­ages.
Peter Stohler


Olga Cafiero
Born in