Every other summer the village of Rossinière in the foothills of the Alps, situated at the symbolic altitude of 1000 meters, presents ten exhibitions of contemporary photography, housed in rustic sites that evoke the past ways of life of this mountain village. far from presenting picture-postcard views, however, Alt. +1000 proposes a journey through the work of contemporary photographers, poetic, documentary and artistic.
The village of Rossinière is renowned for its 17th and 18th century architecture and its rural setting, characteristic of the Pays-d’Enhaut region. The festival Alt. +1000 contrasts this vernacular village identity with the questioning, inquisitive and provocative viewpoints of the artists. The walk through the heart of the village invites visitors from both Switzerland and abroad to admire works as well as places.
Following a first edition in 2008, the festival has taken place every two years since 2011. It is organised by Bien Public, an association set up to promote the culture and heritage of the Pays-d’Enhaut. It is based in Rossinière.
Alt. +1000 organises a competition that allows photographers under the age of 40 to exhibit their works in one of the festival’s exhibition spaces, to be offered financial assistance to produce their prints, to be published in the exhibition catalogue, and to benefit from festival publicity in the media, as well as being seen by a diverse group of visitors. This year the jury selected two Swiss artists, and artist from France, an artist from Ireland, and a collective from Italy.
An artist in residence
Added to this programme is an artist in residency. In 2011 the famous landscape artist Olaf Otto Becker (Germany, 1959), renowned for his visions of Ireland and Greenland, was invited to make a portrait of the Parc Naturel Régional Gruyère Pays-d’Enhaut. The photographs taken during the residency were presented during the festival and then donated to the Parc Naturel Régional Gruyère Pays-d’Enhaut. This year Alt. +1000 has welcomed French artist Georges Rousse, who spent a week in the Bougnon barn creating a dedicated work for the Festival in May. The final artwork along with a photo of the installation can be seen in the barn throughout the Festival.
To encourage international synergies, Alt. +1000 collaborated in 2011 with the Royal College of Art in London, one of the world’s most renowned art schools. Students from the department of photography were invited to provide an artwork for the festival. For the third edition, the festival has turned to Asia and invited the students of the Chung-Ang University, the Seoul school of photography.
A book is published to accompany the festival. The publication enables people further afield to discover Alt. +1000. For the 2015 edition the Festival is providing each visitor with a copy of the official catalogue. Provided with your ticket, the catalogue is an indispensable companion when exploring the barns and green spaces of Rossinière that house the exhibits.