In the placid Alpine town of Davos, an absurd practice has emerged: each January, the World Economic Forum generates a tremendous demand for space that can be used to communicate the agenda of multinational companies, corporations and organizations. As a result, the entire village undergoes an amazing metamorphosis. The largest part of the main road is temporarily rebuilt while every available room, wall and surface is transformed into a corporate showroom or billboard.
Davos-born photographer Jules Spinatsch takes us on a fascinating trip into this parallel universe: along the converted promenade into bars and hotels, churches and museums where parties, press conferences and even spiritual sessions are hosted. Using conceptual and investigative artistic strategies, Spinatsch documents the self-portrayals of the financial, technological and economic elite and reveals a disturbing phenomenon: the temporary appropriation of public infrastructure for the private events of corporations. Davos Is a Verb presents the result of Spinatsch’s infiltration with ironic distance, adding a new chapter to his photobook classic Temporary Discomfort I–V (2005).
«Der Davoser Fotograf Jules Spinatsch hat ein faszinierendes Panoptikum rund um das Weltwirtschaftsforum erschaffen.»
– Bündner Zeitung
«Das World Economic Forum ist ein Fest der Zeichen, der Arroganz und des Pathos, im Buch dargestellt in Dutzenden randabfallenden Bildern.»
With photographs by Jules Spinatsch
With an essay by Tim Jackson
Design: Winfried Heininger and Jules Spinatsch