2009 - 2016


Pleasure Arousal Dominance is multi-layer project focusing on the discourse and picture-dispositive of a Brain Lab in Switzerland. 

Between 2009 and 2015 the artist was creating artistic operations.


The work questions new ideological constructions and in essence a  new dominant western "setting" of knowledge production. 

The current field of brain research is one of the best financed field of elementary research today and plays a central role in the geopolitical competition of a technocratic new-liberal society. Switzerland's research laboratories - as a politically stable and neutral country - play a central role and in particular in Artificial Intelligence AI  play a leading role.


As an interdisciplinary artist Dorothée visited a Brain Lab in Geneva and created art operations. For instance in the series of photographs, the visual border between fiction and documentation become fluid. The subtle changes (interventions) to the rooms, objects, instruments are photographed in a way to let the viewer doubt himself: A new research instrument or a scene out of a 1970s science fiction movie?


Baumann contrasts the material in her exhibition from the Brain research lab (photos, objects, installations) with a popular practice the aura photography (performance After Benjamin), where she invites visitors to the exhibit to take an aura polaroid in the installed photo-studio (the hands are put on two metal plates in hand moldings) next to the high-tech instruments of the laboratory. 

A professional medium then reads the visitors aura and tells each visitor his story based on the colours of her aura - it is a story about the past, the presence and the future. The polaroid is then in exhibit itself and placed by the visitor on the wall.


Dorothée sends all the polaroids three years after the exhibit back to the owner with the title „Souvenir de Mon Aura“. Through this temporal shift of three years, Dorothée created a memory for each one and a story based on the coloured aura during this time. The aura generates a narrative over the past, the present and the future and the invisible print of the hand remains as colored trace in memory of the viewer.

I am very grateful to the Brain & Behaviour Laboratory BBL of the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and especially to Prof. Patrick Vuilleumier and Prof. Sophie Schwartz and its team. A big thank you to Sebastian Rieder for sharing his time and passion with me and participating in my videos. I was touched by the incredible openness, the friendly welcoming culture during the whole visit period over three years, a big and heartfelt thank you to all of them. I also thank Ghislaine in particular who participated twice as professional aura reader in my exhibition in the CPG and shared with me her passion, knowledge and time about aura reading during many discussions and meetings we had. I also thank my friend Sandra Pointet for the loan of her professional camera and other photo material as well as the HEAD. Sandra Pointet was during the whole project a precious friend and gave me technical support in many ways. She also helped me in the aura studio performance After Benjamin and photographed together with my other friend Dominique Fleury the visitors. I would also like to thank my laboratory Photorotation in Geneva and the team for the production of the photography prints and scans of the Aura photographs which will become an art book in the near future. A special thank you also goes to my friends Jeanne Gillard and Nicolas Rivet, who have been extremely professional in supporting me in my project with their good curatorial advice regarding the hanging of my works. 


A special thank you goes to my sister of another mother Sévérine, who protected me, gave me strength and never gave up faith in me.

Edited by Editions Centre de la photographie Genève (2017) and distributed by Les presses du Réel. Selected for bookshops at Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art, New York and Jeu de Paume, Paris.

Editions Centre de la photographie Genève (CPG)
Distribution: Les Presses du réel or CPG
ISBN: 978-2-9701014-6-8

Design: B+R Grafik Bern, Switzerland