Published by Lars Müller Publishers. By Christian Lutz.
Christian Lutz continues his photographic study of power structures with Tropical Gift. He took portraits in Nigeria of people who live by and with the economic force that dominates everything there, the oil and gas industry. The photographs observe the protagonists' everyday lives and professional world from very close up, the rich profiteers in the capital and the indigenous population in the oil region, the Niger delta. The pictures tell their own story of business with these coveted raw materials subtly, but highly expressively.
Over a period of three years the photographer Christian Lutz accompanied a member of the Swiss Federal Council on diverse official occasions throughout the world. In Protokoll he observes the mise-en-scène of authority within the hierarchies to which the political decision makers and their delegations are subjected. He isolates the clichés that rule the world and records the unsaid and unobserved with his camera. His images show a reality that differs from the official photographic reports. The power that is presented in these strictly codified rituals gives way only briefly in fleeting gestures. Christian Lutz delimits a context in which the activities of the ministers, their deputies, and the personnel that orbits the political cosmos unfold. The photographs present a concentrated critique that calls into question a deeply ingrained system of representation and causes readers to alternate between laughter and astonishment.