Jules Spinatsch, Cul-de-Sac (2018)


Machines are looking at us. Computer-controlled cameras keep an eye on us,but often we don’t pay any attention. Moments of reality are collected, one moment not more important than another. This wealth of visual information is systematically examined and analysed to find a deviation, something faulty, or isstored for future use. In our digital society, machines have made humans redundant when it comes to surveillance. The Swiss artist Jules Spinatsch makes use of automated collected imagery and structures them differently: as a panorama, groups, or sequences of single images. Regardless of the chosen form, ranging from site-specific photographic installations to artists’ books, Spinatsch’s works offer us a speculative view on realityand the chosen media.


IntheSurveillance Panorama projects, he placed automated cameras in carefully chosen arenas, for example at the Opera Ball in Vienna for Vienna MMIX (2009), at a city council meeting in Toulouse for Fabre n’est pas venu (2008) or in a watchtower in a prison in Mannheim to produce Panopticon JVA(2015). The cameras are programmed to record up to several thousand images according to a grid, and afterwards the single images are chronologically assembled into one large panorama. The result is a contradictory combination of control and failure. Asynchronous III(2012) uses the same method, referring to certain episodes in the history of nuclear technology from the Cold War to today. For Inside SAP (2016), the artist enhanced his computer-controlled camera method into a work that demonstrates its own analyses.


For Krakow Photomonth 2018, Jules Spinatsch developed a new presentation of hisVienna MMIX project: The Spiral Panorama. Two copies of the original book have been cut up, and the 10,008 images are pasted inside a spiral shaped wall. On the one hand, the Spiral relates to the original presentation of this work as a circular panorama, while on the other the artist surprises us with a dead end.Is it a road referencing Roman Polanski’s film Cul-de-sac (1966), as the title of this exhibition suggests, and an analogy to the overwhelming stream of data?


Jules Spinatsch (1964, Davos, in the Swiss Alps), lives in Zurich. After completing the ICP photography class in New York in 1994, he worked in photojournalism. Since 2000 he has presented his work in exhibitions, photographic installations, and books. For six years he taught at Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD).

He is best known for his Surveillance Panorama Projects, made with programmed cameras that generate hybrid panorama images, composed of several thousand images: Temporary Discomfort, Fabre n’est pas venu, Vienna MMIX, and Competing Agendas. Other well-known projects include Snow Management Complex, a study on alpine tourism (2001–2008), and Asynchronous I–X, a series on nuclear technology (2012–2014).

Spinatsch’s works are held in the collections of: Kunsthaus Zurich, MoMA New York, Fotomuseum Winterthur, MAST Bologna, SFMOMA, Bündner Kunstmuseum, Cnap Paris, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Missouri, among others.


Starmach Gallery
Węgierska 5, Kraków


25.05.2018, 6 p.m.

Exhibition open:

Mon–Fri 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Also open: 26–27.05, 2–3.06, 23–24.06
Closed: 31.05–1.06


Free admission