Reflexions Masterclass / Novartis Institutional Works

In the past year, I was a part of Giorgia Fiorio’s and Gabriel Bauret’s Reflexions Masterclass. During this time, I learned that the masterclass is an autonomous organism, bringing together a diverse range of photographers whose approaches to life, art and photography diverge vastly from one another. But in spite of our differences, we were united in our love for the image and the intellectual, intuitive and intrinsic process that image-making entails.

I only met the other fifteen photographers a year ago, but today I consider them very close to me – like a small, scattered family. I think about them all the time. I guess this is what happens when you are locked in a room for 14 hours on end, sharing work that comes from the deepest part of you, and trying to understand why we create these images in the first place. There really isn’t any way of explaining the intensity of the two days spent reviewing the work. The critiques could be brutal and enlightening at the same time. There were screaming matches and tears, defiance and stiff upper lips, clammy palms and stoic stares, but also laughter, a happy sense of astonishment and the discovery of a scope and depth previously unimagined.

Once the critiques were over, we had two to three days to produce work for the institutions that had invited us in the first place – to roam around and do our thing. Below is a gallery with a selection of images by each of the 16 photographers who were invited to the Novartis Campus in Basel, Switzerland, in early March. Going through the images, I still find it difficult to believe that we inhabited the same space.

Seeing as photography is normally not allowed on the campus, the Novartis administration made us wear neon yellow vests to clearly identify us as a part of the visiting masterclass. Today, not knowing when and if we will see each other again, I smile at the memory of catching a flash of neon yellow out of the corner of my eye. For in that moment, I knew I was surrounded by members of my tribe.