Henrik Spohler


Parc du Doubs

With the aim of inspiring reflection on contemporary landscape, the MBAL partnered with Parc du Doubs (a regional nature park of national importance created in 2012) to organize an artist residency. The photographer Henrik Spohler, born in Germany in 1965, was chosen for the unique approach he applies to today’s landscape during his travels around the world. Spohler’s work always evokes the way humans see nature, at a given time and in a gi­ven society. His photographs reveal fascinations, paradoxes, nature, culture, myths, construction, aspirations. In his examination of the park, he explores what we mean by “nature” in the 21st century.

We gave Spohler carte blanche during his residency at Parc du Doubs; the only stipulation was that he create a portrait of the park, which covers 300 km2 south of the Doubs River along the border between Switzerland and France. The park stretches from Les Brenets, near Le Locle, up to Saint-Ur­sanne, passing through Jura’s Franches-Montagnes district. From autumn 2018 to spring 2019, Spohler made his way through the park’s riverbanks and pastures on long, solitary treks. He was particularly interested in the way human activity has fashioned the land despite its protected status. He bore witness to the inherent tensions of the countryside, where nature meets development and rural meets urban. His remarkably controlled photo­graphs are a response to the atmosphere in this hybrid landscape.

A publication co-published by the MBAL and the Parc du Doubs accompa­nies the exhibitionand is available at the MBAL.