Yann Gross (CH, 1981)
Residency period: May-September 2020
In the last few years, I have mainly worked in the Amazon where I developed a printing technique based on the photosensitive properties of plants. With the help of indigenous communities, we identified several plants whose pigments degraded in the light. The idea was then to reveal the jungle by its own essence.
In the summer of 2020 I sought to deepen my knowledge of the flora in Switzerland and I continued my research on the photosensitive principles of plants at La Becque. By extracting the sap of certain plants, I managed to obtain an emulsion that I could apply on paper.
I first started my experiments by collecting plants from La Becque’s garden and then planted my own seeds in flowerpots. I also sought to extract the sap from certain plants found in the Vaud Alps.
I obtained good results at times, although the necessary exposure is relatively long (several days), with the following plants: aquilegia vulgaris, malva sylvestris, papaver rhoeas, rosa chinensis, salvia pratensis, urtica dioica…
In order to preserve the image, I also tried to understand the process of colour degradation: it is possible to attenuate it by using UV glass but the different spectra of light (red, blue and green), high temperature and humidity also degrade the image in the long term. — Yann Gross
The photographer and film director Yann Gross was born in Vevey and studied at ECAL/University of art Lausanne. His pictures regularly address the construction of the imaginary world and involve a certain escapism. He regularly shows his work worldwide in institutions and galleries such as Les Rencontres d’Arles, the Centre culturel Suisse in Paris, the FOMU in Antwerp, the Musée de l’Elysée, the Galerie du Jour in Paris, Aperture in New York or Leme in São Paulo. Gross is also represented by Wilde Gallery (Geneva and Basel).