Flashlights needed to see flesh in photo exhibit

An exhibition of photos taken by Neuchâtel photographer Pierre-William Henry shows women baring all — but visitors need torches to see the flesh.

Flashlights needed to see flesh in photo exhibit
Photographer Henry holding a sign for his exhibit in this detail from the show's poster.

The lights are turned off for the unusual “25 secondes” art show at the former factory in Cortaillod in the canton of Neuchâtel.

Visitors are given flash lights so they can examine the large photos of naked women.

“I wanted to reproduce the conditions in which the photos were taken,” Henry is quoted as saying by Le Matin online.

The photographer snapped intimate images of around 60 Russian and Belarusian women in their apartments in the dark, equipped with just a torch for light.

“We are like thieves who invade the privacy of people and discover secret things,” Olga, one of the models, said after seeing her photo in a preview of the exhibition, Le Matin reported.

The nudity of the models is only a pretext to upend social codes, she said.

“For a woman to be naked it’s having total liberty,” Olga said.

“She can finally be who she wants without projecting an image with her clothes.”

The model added that visitors are “guests” who look in on where the women live “without judgment”.

The exhibition of photos “to be discovered at night” starts on Friday night at 7 pm at the Moderna former factory in Cortaillod, near the city of Neuchâtel, and runs until May 4th.

A round table discussion involving some of the models is planned on Sunday at 5pm at the Neuchâtel city hall.

For more information check photographer Henry's website.

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Cafés and restaurants in most of French-speaking Switzerland to re-open on December 10th

Nearly four weeks after closing down, bars and restaurants in five of Switzerland’s six French-speaking regions will be back in business as of December 10th.

Cafés and restaurants in most of French-speaking Switzerland to re-open on December 10th
A waiter wearing a protective face mask poses in the nearly empty restaurant "Le Lyrique cafe brasserie" in Geneva. AFP

In a joint press release, Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, and Jura announced on Wednesday that the decision to re-open restaurants and cafés “was made in a concerted manner and with a desire for harmonisation and clarity” among the neighbouring regions.

Of the French-speaking cantons, only Valais restaurants will remain shut, as the canton had extended its closures until December 13th.

Authorities noted that the decision to re-open was driven by the steadily declining coronavirus infection rates in the regions, which until the first week of November had been among the most impacted in Switzerland.

Cantonal officials said that the re-opening “will take place in a strict health framework. It will be mandatory to consume seated and provide contact details for tracing. There can only up to four people per table.”

Tables must be at least 1.5 metres apart and masks must be worn if customers are not seated.

Additionally, establishments must remain closed between 11 pm. and 6 am, in accordance with federal rules.

Authorities said they would monitor “for the possible effects of the re-opening on the pandemic. This means the decision can be revoked if the health situation requires it”.

In Vaud, electric heaters will be allowed outside the restaurants to encourage customers to eat outdoors.

READ MORE: IN NUMBERS: Reasons to be optimistic about the coronavirus situation in Switzerland 

Other measures will also be lifted

For instance, in Vaud museums will re-open on December 1st, and religious services will resume with a maximum of 30 people. They will have to wear masks and keep the 1.5-metre distance.

Also in Vaud, more relaxed measures will be put in place for the holidays: from December 18th to January 3rd, the limit for gatherings will be raised from five to 10 people.

However, participation in other public or private events will remain limited to five people.

In Geneva, the Council of State announced on Wednesday that museums, exhibition halls and libraries will be open from November 28th.

This new relaxation comes after hairdressers, beauticians and other wellness services resumed their activities on Saturday.

Until then, all non-essential businesses in Geneva had been shut down since the beginning of November to curb the canton’s alarmingly high contamination rate. 

You can see the situation in other Swiss cantons here.