Hochwasser, Sturm, Orkan,

agrandir l'image

© Myriam Ziehli

The Photoforum Pasquart proposes for this edition of the Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography, entitled Flood, a carte blanche to the artist Myriam Ziehli, taking as a starting point the recurring historical motifs of the deluge and the catastrophe.

„This starts from a very simple intuition; that the conservation in the zoological structure is reminiscent of two biblical parables: that of Noah’s Ark and before it, of Genesis. Indeed, the zoo represents a closed conservation structure, and thus constitutes a form of ark. The emergency of the apocalyptic situation in the parable evokes contemporary ecological problems, in particular the worrying loss of biodiversity characterised by the sixth mass extinction. Noah’s patriarchal and hierarchical authority on the animals he chose and ‘saved’ recalls the Western insolence, on the one hand, in defining a prioritisation in conservation actions and, on the other hand, in the way animals are defined as representing their species within the zoological park. 

Finally, the ‚naturalistic’ perception (according to the four ontologies defined by Philippe Descola), separating the ambient world (environment) of humanity is found at the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis 1.26, we find this verse: ‚Then God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’

Would these visions of ‚nature’ under the domination of ‚man’, which today seem absurd, allow us to review our culturally constructed–and deeply rooted–relationship of ‚sovereign over nature’?“

Location: Photoforum Pasquart


Myriam Ziehli
Myriam Ziehli (CH), born in 1989, studied photography at the CEPV in Vevey, as well as anthropology and art history at the Universities of Lausanne and Neuchâtel. Her project La Montagne Dorée has been shortlisted for the Mack First Book Award and the Aperture First Book Award. In 2014, together with Anne Golaz, she founded the distribution platform Aaluägä Books.