For this exhibition at the Kunstmuseum of Thun, Switzerland, the artists Christoph Buchel and Gianni Motti have worked together on a collaborative project, under the title: " Diplomatic Gifts ". More than two hundreds pieces, gifts offered to the Swiss Federal Republic by heads of States and diplomats from all around the world, are presented in a large installation throughout the museum.
Among the donors: the King of Cambodia, Boris Eltsin, Helmut Kohl, Li Pen, Carlos Menem, King Fahd, etc. Astonishing: an Afghan carpet has the portrait of the President of the Swiss Confederation woven in its center...
The need for gifts is part of the human nature, but to receive a gift often places the recipient in debt to the donor. In politics this debt could be visible and thus, embarrassing; people still speak about the diamonds that Giscard d' Estaing received from Bocassa. The phenomenon of corruption, which the French moderately call "les affaires" bursts everywhere, as well in liberal countries as in dictatorships.
Here, in this exhibition, it is not about diamonds, but about gifts that are useful sometimes to illustrate the genie of a country, question of courtesy, perhaps also of tactic.