Salvatore Vitale presents #Exercise no. 3 of Let's Talk about Images 2.1.0: How to Secure a Country

Time: 29 April - 3 May
Location: Fotogalleriet's Instagram and

Opening dialogue with Vilde M. Horvei:Wednesday 29 April, 16:00 on Zoom (link:
Closing dialogue with Philip Di Salvo:Sunday 3 May, 16:00 on Instagram Live

To tackle the current moment of crisis, Fotogalleriet has asked reputable and young artists to guide us through their thinking processes, generating an alternative space for critical thinking and advocating new forms of freedom and togetherness.

For third week of Let's Talk about Images 2.1.0, we are happy to announce a project specially conceived for Fotogalleriet's Instagram by visual artist, editor and educator Salvatore Vitale.

Based on his ongoing, research-based project How to Secure a Country(2014 –2019), Vitale will present three correlating strands of work on Fotogalleriet's Instagram feed, and host Q&A-sessions with writers and thinkers Vilde M. Horvei and Philip Di Salvo.

Much like Norway, Switzerland is known for being one of the safest countries on Earth; a prime example of efficiency and efficacy. But how do state and private actors ensure this valuable commodity, which is as much a basic need as it is a billion-dollar business? Questions such as these have emerged with renewed urgency in light of the new laws and measures introduced in democratic societies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Work such as Vitale's highlights the development of a culture based on securing, protecting, insuring and preventing, supported by the presence and production of national security, which is made more visible by the current international crisis.

For Let's Talk about Images 2.1.0Vitale will present his work in a new format tailored to this moment and its needs, inviting audiences to witness a photographic live-stream of an invisible military facility in the Swiss Alps, and to download digital 'pandemic posters'. Titled ABC – Attitude/Behavior/Code (2020), the 'digital posters' combine archival images from Swiss biomedical facilities and texts from official national pandemic protocols, and to reflect on the nature of invisible threats and what we are willing to sacrifice to neutralise them. Preceded by an opening conversation with Norwegian academic and critic Vilde M. Horvei, Vitale's contribution alludes to shared dissonances in Swiss and Norwegian perceptions of national identities rooted in nature and historical exceptionalism and our participation in the modern militarisation of national borders and security.

A link to the photographic 'live stream' of the Swiss military facility, titled Retreat! Restless Landscape(2020), will be made available in our bio and via our website, and will continue to be active after Vitale's exercise. Vitale's project will be posted and updated on a daily basis on Fotogalleriet's Instagram.

On the exhibition's opening day from 16:00 (UTC+2), an opening dialogue with Norwegian writer, curator and educator Vilde M. Horvei will take place on Fotogalleriet's Zoom and Facebook. Sunday May 3rd, an edit of a formerly exhibited work titled The Reservoir(2018-19) will be made available on Fotogalleriet's IGTV for 48 hours. The work will precede a closing dialogue between Vitale and Italian journalist and researcher Philip Di Salvo, addressing correlations between biological and digital viruses. Their dialogue is based on an article which will be a part of the upcoming issue of maize magazine, to be published in June 2020. In both dialogues audience is encouraged to actively participate with their questions.


Salvatore Vitale (b. 1986, Palermo, Italia) is a Swiss-based visual artist, editor and educator with a MFA from Zürich University of Arts (ZHdK). In his multi-layered artistic practice and research, Vitale's work focuses on the development and complexity of modern societies exploring power structures, visual politics and technology, whilst making use of expanded documentary analysis, including elements of fiction, speculative storytelling and the use of multiple visual forms. His work has been awarded internationally, including the Swiss Arts Council grant (2015-2016), the PHmuseum Award Grant (2017), Swiss Design Awards (2018), Foam Talent (2018), Punktum Award (2018), and Pro Helvetia Shanghai Research Grant (2019-2020).

Vitale's work has been exhibited widely in museums and at photo festivals, with solo shows at the Swiss Foundation for Photography Winterthur (2018), the Photoforum Pasquart Biel/Bienne (2017), MOCAK – Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow (2018), Hamburg Triennale of Photography (2018), and is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of YET magazine, a Swiss-based international photography magazine that focuses on the evolution of the photography practice within the contemporary art field.

Philip Di Salvo is a post-doctoral researcher based at Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)'s Institute of Media Journalism. Here, Di Salvo does research on whistleblowing, investigative journalism, Internet surveillance and the relationship between journalism and hacking. At USI, he teaches journalism both at Master and Bachelor levels. He received his PhD in Communication Sciences from US with a dissertation about the adoption of encrypted whistleblowing platforms in journalism in summer 2018. Since 2018, Di Salvo has also been a lecturer at NABA – New Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, Italy. As a freelance journalist, he writes for Wired, Motherboard/Vice, Esquire and other publications covering social impacts of technology. At USI, Di Salvo also works as the European Journalism Observatory (EJO) Italian editor.

Vilde M. Horvei is a writer, curator and educator based in Oslo, Norway. She completed her MA in Art History at the University of Oslo with a thesis about the need for redefining definitions of site-specificity in the face of new technologies. She is currently working on a contemporary art project at the Munch Museum; developing an online magazine about art and technology titled The Grey Box; and teaches theory at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.


Let’s Talk About Images 2.1.0 is a #stayhome programme conceived and produced by Fotogalleriet in Oslo, Norway. The programme takes place from 16 April - 7 June 2020. The participating artists are announced on Fotogalleriet’s Instagram account every Monday. Follow us on Instagram for developing programme announcements and projects.

Artistic Director of Fotogalleriet Antonio Cataldo says:

– We are not turning digital, but we are hijacking the only available platforms at our disposal at the moment to keep discussions alive. This is in line with our mission to catalyse new and cutting-edge practices within the arts, and give artists a platform and needed support, enabling them to continue their artistic practice in these daunting times. By doing so, we hope to provide an opportunity to think freely and independently, share with others different worlds and modes of being, and to continuously affect thought.

To read more about the programme please click HERE or contact us at [email protected].