Matthieu Gafsou: Only God Can Judge Me

Matthieu Gafsou (CH, F, 1981) lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland. After completing a master of arts in philosophy, literature and cinema at the University of Lausanne, he studied photography at the School of Applied Arts in Vevey. Since 2006, Gafsou has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions, and published five books. In 2009 Gafsou was awarded the prestigious “Prix de la fondation HSBC pour la photographie” and subsequently was invited to contribute to the Aperture Foundation's 2010 reGeneration2 exhibition.

Switzerland – 

Based out of Lausanne, Switzerland, Photography feature – Matthieu Gafsou spent more than a year immersed in the lives of drug addicts. Published by Kehrer, ‘Only God Can Judge Me’ assembles several themes tackled through distinct formal registers.

Drugs and accessories are reproduced as consumer products, close-up against uniform backgrounds. Photographed against a black background, with carefully applied lighting effects, the portraits of drug addicts are distinguished by their semi-pictorial treatment, inspired by the tradition of portraiture. The places where addicts meet and consume drugs are particularly elaborate, to the point of creating nocturnal landscapes that evoke artificial paradises.

And the collection is completed by semi-abstract images, allegories of the ability of drugs to transcend reality. By developing a rich and varied visual language mixing different levels of representation and interpretation, Matthieu Gafsou manages to create a genuine sense experience.

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