Rado Star Prize Switzerland

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Olivier Christinat, Nouveaux souvenirs, 2012

The Rado Star Prize Switzerland @ Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography 2013 is awarded to photographer Olivier Christinat


For his work entitled Nouveaux Souvenirs (New Memories), created between 2010 and 2013, the photographer Olivier Christinat from Lausanne, Switzerland has been awarded the Rado Star Prize Switzerland 2013. Organised by the Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography and Rado Watch Co. Ltd. this international photography award offers the winner a chance to exhibit their work during the next Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography and the production cost of the winning project up to CHF 10'000, as well as a one-month artistic work experience placement in China. The winning photographs were selected from among 200 applications from 15 European countries by a prestigious Jury chaired by Dr Simon Baker, curator of the Photography and International Art section of the Tate Modern, London.

The jury met on 15th June in Biel and selected the series of photographs by Olivier Christinat, Nouveaux Souvenirs (New Memories). The intriguing character of the work intensifies as the photographs are closely observed. They show an interweaving of people and urban elements resulting in a meticulous choice by the photographer. The positioning of the image was created in two intervals: the first from a distance for the shots of Japan and then with a more detailed shot which brings to attention a latent subject which went unnoticed. The jury not only praised the excellent experimental quality of the winning work, but also the original treatment of the photographed subjects, far from the usual shots of Japan, a country which is often photographed.

The jury was Dr Simon Baker (president); curator of the Photography and International Art department at the Tate Modern in London; Mirjam Fischer, independent editor of art, photography and design books in Zurich; Gerardo Mosquera, independent art critic, curator, historian and artistic director of PHotoEspaña in Madrid. Hélène Joye-Cagnard, co-director of the Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography and independent curator; and Philippe Walther, Brand Manager of the Swiss Market for Rado Watch Co. Ltd were part of the jury with consultation roles. 

The series Nouveaux Souvenirs will be exhibited at the Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography from 6th to 29th September 2013.

About Olivier Christinat

Olivier Christinat was born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1963. After attending the Ecole des Arts Appliqués de Vevey (1979-1980), he studied photography (1980- 1984) in Lausanne. An independent photographer since 1985, he regularly taught at the ECAL, Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne (audio-visual department) from 1991 to 1996. Since 1996, his photography work has focused on more personal research and he produced the images of the pavilion “Le premier regard” (The First Sight) for the Expo ’02 in Yverdon. In 2004, he was amongst the photographers of the exhibition, publication and television series PHOTOsuisse, initiated by Pro Helvetia. He taught photography at the ESAA in Vevey from 2003 to 2005 and at the CFPAA in Geneva since 2003.