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… et labora

Bice Curiger, Peter Herzog

Work is the pulse of human activity, and the history of photography reflects the various facets of recent history: the modernisation of daily life, technological developments, industrialisation and the metamorphosis of cities into metropolises, the transformation of the countryside with the arrival of new means of transport, the mechanisation of agricultural work, the obsessive prospecting of the riches of the soil, and, bound up with all this, the sociological phenomena of class struggle and revolt, the introduction of labour laws and of the right to worker protection, the growth of leisure and tourism, right up to the current prospect of widespread robotisation thanks to artificial intelligence and the possible disappearance of human labour.

The exhibition «… et labora» brings together some one hundred photographs, taken between 1850 and the middle of the twentieth century, from the extraordinary collection of Ruth and Peter Herzog. For the most part anonymous, they mingle and dialogue with the works of contemporary artists and with Provençal ex-voto paintings, in order to focus our gaze on a central aspect of our lives: work.


The English version is available in digital format only, on request at:




  • Pages: 92 p.
  • Dimensions: 22 × 28 cm
  • Languages: French
  • Conception graphique : Droit de regard
  • Publisher: Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles
  • Date: January 2020
  • ISBN: 9791094966211
  • Price: 30 €