Transhumanism is an intellectual movement that aims to augment the human body through use of sciences and technique. This topic refers to everyday purposes, which are already banal, such as the use of pacemakers or smartphones. It also refers to fantasies which advocate immortality and even claim the abandonment of the body made of flesh in favor of the machine. From the myth of the cyborg to the chimera, transhumanism can bring to mind a new religion.
H+ is about the present. What really exists, what we can see, where we can see it. From Switzerland to Russia, between France, Germany and Czech Republic, he has been tracking, the people – from biohackers working in garages to major labs –, the objects and sometimes the concepts related to this movement. When he started his research in 2014, Matthieu Gafsou quickly realized that the problem would not be to find information or subjects, but to sort those out, to prioritize and to build a clear map of the transhumanist movement. It is the sum of various fragments that weaves a network of meaning, a mesh rather than a narrative. Implicitly, this allows Gafsou to formulate his relation to documentary photography: it is a bridge of sight and not a truth. There are, therefore, many defects and deformations. Gafsou opts for a radicality of renditions, which testifies of the latent violence involved in the technological transformations under way.
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. In 2014, Lausanne’s influential Musée de l’Elysée hosted Gafsou’s solo show titled Only God Can Judge Me. In 2018, the H+ exhibition was one of the highlights of Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles. In parallel to his artistic practice, Gafsou is on faculty at the University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL).