Every January, for four days, a small town in the Swiss Alps is transformed into a Potemkin village. The World Economic Forum brings heads of state, politicians and activists to Davos, followed by global corporations who use the venue for international appearances, informal receptions and lobbying. The short-term demand for free, playable rooms, space and accommodation has far-reaching consequences: shops and apartments are vacant for most of the year in order to be rented out for horrendous sums during the event. In 2020, Facebook erected a temporary two-story pavilion, while at the same time a bookstore disappeared completely from the main street.
Davos Is a Verb is the photographic documentation of this madness. Photographer Jules Spinatsch (born 1964) makes Davos visible as a fleeting world in which public space is reinterpreted and everything is in flux.
Published by Spector Books. Text by Joerg Bader, Christoph Doswald, Michael Hagner, Jan Wenzel.
For 15 years, Swiss documentary photographer Jules Spinatsch (born 1964) has been creating panoramas of various spaces—football stadiums, the Vienna Opera Ball, a prison, the SAP headquarters—by combining thousands of individual images. Spinatsch’s series and his creative process are documented in this volume.
Published by Lars Müller Publishers. Essay by Martin Jaeggi.
Temporary Discomfort is artist Jules Spinatsch's documentation of three cities in a transitory state of emergency lock-down during two global economic summits (WEF and G8). It comines different photographical genres: landscape photography of the site, photojournalism, and police photography, but with the camera lens turned, atypically, on the security forces. The photo series and videos aim to achieve a speculative reconstruction of the situations in Davos, New York, Genoa and Evian/Geneva, while they also ask questions about the conditions under which photography is and can be produced today. Spinatsch's position while working on the project was that of an informed outsider--his presence in the area around the meetings was acknowledged by the security forces but not really appreciated, which was one the factors that determined his work. Spinatsch's new approach to documentary photography is theorized here by essayist Martin Jaeggi and presented through beautiful photographs with strong political undertones.