Laurence Bonvin, شالي (shali), Before publication 7, brochure, 36 pages – single booklets, 17.2 × 23.5 cm, offset, stapled binding – published in the Before publication collection, which gathers the pre-publications of authors’ texts or artists’ inserts, which will appear regularly and as a preview before the final publication, L’Effet papillon II (second volume of L’Effet papillon, 1989 – 2007, catalogue of the Centre d’édition contemporaine published in 2008). Graphic design: Niels Wehrspann, Lausanne. Edition of the Centre d’édition contemporaine, Geneva, 2022. ISBN : 978-2-9701369-5-8
The set of photographs Shali (house in Siwi language) was made in February 2021 – Shali, digital photographs (color originals), inkjet print on Hahnmühle paper, 74.7 x 58 cm, 2021. It’s related to the fortress of the same name, located in the center of the Siwa oasis in Egypt. The construction technique, kershef, is a mixture of clay, salt and stones. It is exemplary of Berber vernacular architecture and offers a natural protection against the heat of the desert. Severely eroded by time and the torrential rains of 1926, the fortress of Shali has been restored by the Egyptian government who wants to make Siwa an eco-tourism center.
Born in 1967 in Sierre, Laurence Bonvin is a Swiss photographer and film director. She lives between Switzerland and the city of Lisbon. Marked by the documentary, her approach has been focused for many years on landscape, architecture and the phenomena of transformation of urban and natural environments. Through her gaze, the artist reveals the social, poetic and political dimensions of intermediate places such as borders, wastelands, pre-urban and peri-urban areas, and questions their identities. Her photographic work has been presented in solo exhibitions including: Blackrock, Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar (2022); Earth Beats, Kunsthaus Zürich (2021); See Pieces, Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation, Berlin (2021); Les lois de l’improbabilité, Centre de la photographie, Geneva (2020); Something Else 2, Biennale off, Darb 1789, Cairo (2018); Flow of Forms, Museum of Ethnology, Hamburg (2018). She has also been the subject of several publications, including On the Edges of Paradise (edition fink, Zürich, 2008), the collection of Cahiers d’artistes (Pro Helvetia, Zürich + ed. Periferia, Lucerne, 2007) or the collection Before publication of the Centre d’édition contemporaine, Geneva (شالي, Before publication 7, ed. of CEC, Geneva, 2022). She also participates in the collective exhibition, La montagne en perspective, in the Museum of Art and History, Geneva (2022-23). Laurence Bonvin has directed several short films presented in exhibitions as well as selected by international festivals: Ghost Fair Trade (2022); Aletsch Negative (2019); Avant l’envol (2016); Blikkiesdorp (2014); AfterVegas (2013). She has benefited from a Pro Helvetia Cairo workshop between 2020 and 2021.