Flagship show

From 12/21 to 2021/XNUMX
Main Exhibition
Basfroi Workshop

The flagship exhibition, curated by the organizers of the Biennale, brings together twelve French and international artists at Atelier Basfroi, around the themes of town planning, the control society and surveillance tools.

Photographers or visual artists, the artists presented highlight distorted, deconstructed, reconstructed or falsified images, and are carriers of innovative photographic ideas both on the subjects addressed and the methods used.


12 nov - 21 nov

Opening on November 12 from 18 p.m. to 22 p.m.

Xavier Bauer / Grégory Chatonsky / Antje Feger & Benjamin Stumpf / Clemens Gritl / Beate Gütschow / Claudia Larcher / Maxime Matthys / Achim Mohné / Richard Mosse / Hito Steyerl / Thierry Urbain / Emmanuel Van Der Auwera.

From Tuesday to Sunday 

from 13AM to 20PM


23, rue Basfroi, 75011 Paris

Metro: Voltaire / Charonne

For its second edition, the flagship exhibition of the Biennale de l'Image Tangible invites twelve French and international artists to Atelier Basfroi, from November 13 to 22, 2020, around the themes of town planning, the control society and monitoring tools.

Digital prints (Richard Mosse, Clemens Gritl, Maxime Matthys) or silver prints (Thierry Urbain), recomposed images (Beate Gütschow, Claudia Larcher) and videos (Hito Steyerl), sculptures (Xavier Bauer, Achim Mohné) or multimedia installations (Grégory Chatonsky, Emmanuel Van Der Auwera, Antje Feger & Benjamin Stumpf), the works of artists invited by the Tangible Image Biennale place us at the heart of the network of cyber-connected cities, architectural utopias, and the monitoring tools that scrutinize them with their mechanical eye.

They are more particularly interested in the functioning and the scope of these registration systems which now dominate and govern our societies, referred to as “control societies”. They thus open up a reflection on the emergence, place and socio-political implications of these new technologies in the public space, for 50% urban humanity - and which will be 70% by 2050. Each proposal considers therefore critically the tangible effects and the future of these digital technologies, in order to understand their impact on the organization of our environment ... And to see how our perception of the world, of ourselves, as well as our behavior, is find it affected.

So how do the new tools for capturing reality, which include photography and its digital ersatz, end up shaping urban space? How do they contribute to producing a world, rather than just recording it? And by what means do they manage to format our bodies, our habits and our minds, through the uses we make of them on a daily basis?

François Salmeron

Xavier bauer

Born in 1977 in Geneva. Lives and works between Geneva and Berlin.


This gray ash cube is the result of a patient work during which the artist sieves and compresses residues of burnt photographs. The sculpture, seemingly massive and solid, is in fact extremely fragile and volatile - and therefore assumes an oxymoron. It disintegrates according to the air currents and the movements of the spectators around it. The gray monochrome is also presented as a stele synthesizing the motley flow of images which vainly assail our daily glances, as if too many images ended up killing the image. And reminds us, like a memento mori, that everything turns to dust ...

Gregory Chatonsky

Born in 1971 in Paris. Lives and works in Paris and Montreal.

Recursive neural networks, usually referred to as AI, allow media to mutate. From huge databases accumulated on the Web, it is possible to produce resembling images: we provide a neural network with thousands of images of birds and new images appear that we recognize as birds even if these do not exist.

These are media media that constitute a real break in the history of the production of realism. MUE invites us to the permanent metamorphosis of images taken in the permanent flux of mutation. An alternate world becomes visible that looks like the one we know but differs from it, like the possibility of an unexplored branch. These are realistic images, but they are no longer real. They are no longer based on the capture of light (photorealism) but on the synthesis of memories captured in the nets of massive data network.

What happens to the image when it is taken in an infinite series? What is its form when it is only the form of its change? What era of realism do we enter when we recognize as realistic images that do not come from the capture of reality but from the hypermnesia of the network?


Antje Feger & Benjamin Stumpf

Born in 1977 in Lüneburg. Born in 1976 in Solingen (Germany). Live and work in Hamburg.

This installation consists of two parts: a print cut by a document shredder and a radio broadcasting a sound collage. The images come from the archives of the Ministry of National Security of the Democratic Republic of Germany, whose intelligence services used these visuals to train their agents to encrypt messages in a coded sign system.

The sound collage is made up of archives of shortwave radio stations, used to carry military messages and intelligence around the world. A transmitter hidden in the exhibition space, which functions as a mini radio station, sends the sound signal to all the VHF receivers in the vicinity.

Antje Feger and Benjamin Stumpf remind us of what surveillance and intelligence techniques were like during the Cold War, before the advent of digital technology.

Clemens Gritl

Born in Straubing (Germany). Lives and works in Berlin

Clemens Gritl designs artificial 3D computer models inspired by 1960th century urban utopias. These cold black and white architectures, with brutalist concrete edges, are surrounded by an endless motorway network, and bathe in a dark atmosphere saturated with asphalt. They therefore refer to the revolutionary social visions of the XNUMXs, while painting a disturbing dystopian picture of their future. Their homogeneous structures, with repetitive shapes and gigantic dimensions, build cities that are at once aggressive, nightmarish… and fascinating. But what impact can they have on humanity and their inhabitants? Do they not above all denote a desire to organize society and space, to the point of oppressing them? Indeed, we can fear that such a city will see itself destined to develop an ultra-functional society ... Or, on the contrary, to tip our lives into a threatening and alienating social dysfunction.

Beate Gutschow

Born in 1970 in Mainz. Lives and works in Cologne and Berlin.
Represented by Galerie Barbara Gross (Berlin), Produzentengalerie (Hamburg), and Sonnabend Gallery (New York).

Hortus Conclusus offers a distant point of view on urban parks. Grass trampled by passers-by or burnt by the sun, weeds, tags and shards of glass are all banal details, finely chiseled by the eye overhanging the camera. But beyond the precision of the photographic rendering, this series reorganizes the perspective according to which the public space is constructed.
Beate Gütschow indeed abandons the conventional photographic perspective, and refers to the pictorial representation of gardens in the art of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. The vanishing points are missing, the lines do not converge and remain parallel, the images seem to open up like a book, and all the objects follow the same value as in medieval illuminations.
Each visual consists of 150 photos assembled digitally by an algorithm, following various perspectives, in the form of 3D photogrammetric models. This technique of photogrammetry, used for topographical surveys in archeology, architecture or public works, makes it possible to determine the shape, dimensions and position of an object in space from photos. It reminds us that one of the functions of photography is to map, measure and organize reality as well as the objects that compose it. The artist then readjusts the nuances of colors, the contrasts and the luminosity of the recorded elements to recreate a continuity in these strangely closed images, and to hide the ruptures dotting such a visual puzzle.

Claudia larcher

Born in 1979 in Bregenz (Austria). Lives and works in Vienna.
Represented by the 22,48 m2 gallery (Paris).

Claudia Larcher is a visual artist specializing in video animation, collage, photography and installation. Series Urban Landscapes uses architectural magazines or periodicals, the pages of which are worked with a scalpel. The blocks of text are removed, and only elements of printed buildings remain. The different layers therefore form a relief: at the opening of each double page, a three-dimensional architectural landscape is revealed.

Video in-game advertising ornament is a crime, behind its squeaky title which reopens the debate on the usefulness or not of art in our everyday life, presents a scenario of this same type of work compiling different kinds of architectural visuals.

The series Man refers to the work of designer Mies Van der Rohe, former director of the Bauhaus, through photographic views of buildings, details of interior volumes, and façade grid structures, which are superimposed and intertwined thanks to a assembly game. These delicate fragments appear to have been removed from their context with the original scalpel in order to be repackaged. They tell the story of the modernist dream of an architecture made of efficiency, transparency and elegance.

Maxim Matthys

Born in 1995 in Brussels. Lives and works in Paris and Rennes.
Graduated from the EMI-CFD School of Journalism in Paris.

"2091 - The Ministry of Privacy" reveals facial recognition mechanisms used by the Chinese government to monitor and oppress ethnic minorities, including Uighur and Kazakh, in the Xinjiang region. I produced this series in collaboration with William Attache, an artificial intelligence engineer, to create facial recognition software similar to those used by the Chinese government. Then I went to Kashgar, one of the last strongholds of Uighur and Kazakh culture, and one of the most closely guarded towns in the territory, to photograph the daily life of these populations.

Despite government censorship, I was able to send my photographs to facial recognition programs previously developed on my computer. The software then proceeded to recognize the inhabitants appearing in the photos, and exported their biometric information on their face. Depending on the technology, some are displayed as red dots (called Landmarks) others using the Delaunay diagram - an alternative used to map such information. My work thus underlines the intrusive nature of these technologies, until then invisible, and the threat they represent for the inhabitants.

Achim Mohne

Born in 1964 in Aix-la-Chapelle. Lives and works in Cologne and Zurich.
Represented by the Judith Andreae gallery (Bonn).

Achim Mohné relies on new digital media and new technologies to try to understand how our perception and our awareness of physical and social space are rethinking. Digital immateriality and virtual corporeality constitute the two research subjects of the series 3D-Google-Earth-Model, started in 2018. These 3D works deal with the relationship between real urban space and its virtual representations, called “avatars”. These retain an illustrative and referential character while switching to a strange, even abstract, digital aesthetic resulting from the recording and translation of the Earth's surface by satellites and drones.

This series of printed sculptures explore methods of 3D display of virtual globes (software that models the Earth in 3D, the first of its kind was Google Earth), which "aesthetically prepare users for future media, such as Virtual Reality or Artificial Reality or Mixed Realities ”, according to art historian Pamela C. Scorzin.

Project created especially for the Tangible Image Biennial 2021 :
Mozilla hub: https://hubs.mozilla.com/ZWMyYWC/atelier-basfroi

Richard mosse

Born in 1980 in Kilkenny (Ireland). Lives and works in New York.
Represented by the Carlier Gebauer gallery (Berlin, Madrid).

The series Infra is marked by Mosse's use of Kodak Aerochrome, a discontinued infrared reconnaissance film. The film records chlorophyll in living vegetation. The result is the lush Congolese rainforest rendered in a beautifully surreal landscape of pinks and reds. Mosse said in an interview with British Journal of Photography : “I wanted to export this technology to a more difficult situation, to end the generic conventions of calcified mass media narratives, and to question how we are allowed to represent this forgotten conflict. I wanted to confront this military reconnaissance technology, to use it reflexively to question the modes of construction of war photography. "

Heat Maps, 2017.
Thermal camera in refugee camps (Greece, Germany, Bulgaria, Germany)

This series of photos traces the lives of migrants in different camps around the world. To report on their living conditions, the photographer armed himself with a military weapon, a thermal camera capable of filming several kilometers away.

“This very powerful and in my opinion very disturbing camera technology, I see it as an allegory of the military-humanitarian complex which characterizes the only response of the European Union to the influx of migrants, the 'refugee crisis' as one called her. This is the only solution we have apparently found to welcome asylum seekers, refugees who land on our shores. "(Richard Mosse, interview in France Culture).

Steyerl Milestone

Born in 1966 in Munich. Lives and works in Berlin.
Represented by the Esther Schipper gallery (Berlin).

Through this short video loop, Hito Steyerl hits a black LCD screen with a wood chisel and cuts through its surface, under the effect of shock, a network of multicolored cracks. The word STRIKE, which frames this minimal performance and means "to strike something" or "to go on strike", therefore implies an act of collision, disturbance, protest or resistance. It can be read either as an imperative that encourages us to join the artist in his action. It is therefore akin to a protest movement against the power of screens. Or like an iconoclastic gesture revealing the mode of production, appearance and diffusion of images. By breaking this screen, Steyerl therefore updates the material and technological infrastructures, as well as their political and ideological implications, which underlie all representational content ... And underlines that the screen does indeed determine what remains visible or invisible to society, to our minds and to our eyes.

Thierry urban

Born in 1960 in France.


These architectures have always seemed to me to be hieratic and timeless places open to fiction and the human sciences in which geography and history could be presented as utopias. Their archetypal forms allow us to reconstruct time and space according to our own desire and to superimpose on the photographic reality the equivalence of an interior landscape.


The last open-air excavations on the archaeological site of Babylon would have shown that the library of the mythical city would in no way be a model of rational classification of catalogs and written tablets of a vanished civilization. The architecture of the place actually draws an initiatory journey through the mazes of rooms and stairs. The library thus obeys a ritual (and not memorial) function: that of a spiritual journey where the reader is above all a believer who prays aloud and follows a procession.

Emmanuel Van Der Auwera

Born in 1982. Lives and works in Brussels.
Represented by the Harlan Levey Project gallery (Brussels).

VideoSculpture XXI (Vegas)

Using the video screen as a sculptural material, Emmanuel Van Der Auwera cuts out the filters that make up each LCD screen and places them on a tripod. In doing so, the images become visible in the form of fragments, depending on the viewer's position, and are discovered from several points of view. Captured by thermographic cameras used in the army or in surveillance devices, this sequence paints a fantastical portrait of the “Strip” of Las Vegas. Passers-by on the avenue clad with signs appear as unwilling filmed subjects, seen through the eye of a sniper.

From Tuesday to Sunday
from 13AM to 20PM

23, rue Basfroi, 75011 Paris

Metro: Voltaire or Charonne