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Mélanie Veuillet

Tools of Disobedience © Mélanie Veuillet

Mélanie Veuillet, Tools of Disobedience
Edition Patrick Frey, Zurich, 2017

ISBN 978-3-906803-29-6

Labor ingenium miseris dat – necessity is the mother of invention, wrote the Latin poet Manilius. His dictum is still valid today, as is impressively demonstrated by a look at Mélanie Veuillet’s photographic study of objects in Swiss prisons. She has created an archaeology of forbidden things by photographing and immortalising objects that are confiscated and usually destroyed by prison wardens. In the seclusion and isolation of the security apparatus, small everyday things acquire meanings, applications and a value that they would never have outside a prison cell. The inmates’ ingenuity creates a new range of products, which serve as a pastime, but also as a means of illegal transactions or self-defence. The artist has systematically collected these handmade objects and photographed them, one at a time, against a neutral white background, just as conservators usually catalogue museum exhibits, thus creating an imaginary museum about the artistry of resistance. [Alice Wilke]