The guest list alone is enough to give you goosebumps: Richard Avedon, Robert Morris, Nan Goldin, Valie Export, Nobuyoshi Araki, Ugo Rondinone, Peter Hujar and more. When it hosts an exhibition for ‘Mois de la Photo’ (Photography Month) in Paris, the Centre Culturel Suisse (Swiss Cultural Centre) doesn’t do things by halves. This particular show has also had a big boost from the Fotomuseum Winterthur, which has loaned it some specially selected gems from its collection.
The subject is the human body in all its guises, from the prudishly covered up to the sensually splayed. Flabby, sculptural or shrivelled: here, aesthetics matter less and less the more you look. This is flesh in whatever form, and it has been everything from a symbol of purity to a feminist weapon to an emblem of decadence. This exhibition reveals just how the body has been bared in darkrooms throughout the 20th century, according to the causes and the ideas of the times. From big photography stars to less well-known Swiss artists like Hannah Villiger, Walter Pfeiffer or Rockmaster K, the Swiss Cultural Centre has collected an impressive range of representations, gestures, poses and interpretations of nudity.