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1 August 2017

Yann Gross, Rencontres d’Arles 2016



When the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Orellana set out on his search for cinnamon in 1541, he could not have known that his travels would take him to the winding bends of the world’s longest river—the Amazon.


Long a witness to evangelisation campaigns, road-building projects and rubber, oil and gold rushes, the area has always aroused greed, competition and fascination. Following in the footsteps of past expeditions, this travel diary’s discreetly staged scenes help to reveal various facets of contemporary Amazonia and the surrounding areas. Working with different local communities allowed me to explore the forest’s complex interactions and mysteries. Once immersed in this domesticated world, you soon forget romantic clichés about forgotten lands and noble savages.
More broadly, this visual roaming challenges the idea of progress and development.


Scenography: Le Repaire Fantastique.
Publication: The Jungle Book, Rencontres d’Arles/Actes Sud/Aperture/Editorial RM, 2016. This publication has been made possible by the support of the LUMA Foundation.
With support from the Canton of Vaud and the Swiss Confederation.
Exhibition venue: Magasin Électrique.