Lars Willumeit (born 1974) is a German social anthropologist based in Zurich and Montreux, Switzerland. As a curator, author/critic, art educator and photo editor, he has been working with the medium of photography in different modes since 1993.

His interests lie in photography as a collective and collaborative process, ideologies of documentarism and their regimes of representation, the photo-book and other modes of circulationism in visual culture. Since 2018 he has been working as a curator at Photo Elysée in Lausanne.

In addition to having been trained as a photographer, Willumeit has, since the early 2000s, served in the capacity of photoeditor for numerous magazines, most notably for GEO magazine,in Hamburg and New York, and as photo director, from 2008–2013, for the Zurich-based Du: Die Zeitschrift der Kultur. Between 2017 and 2020 he was also the founding Head of Photography (Fachklasse Fotografie EFZ/BM) at F+F Schule für Kunst und Design in Zurich.

Between 2013 and 2019, as an independent curator, he curated exhibitions for example for East Wing, an exhibition space and platform for photography based in Dubai (2014-15); FORMAT International Photography Festival in Derby (2015); or Krakow Photomonth in Poland, where he was invited as the chief curator and artistic director for their 2016 edition entitled: Crisis? What crisis?! In 2015, he was also a contributing author to the photo-book Deposit by Yann Mingard, as well as to a dictionary entitled Factory Tools, which was published within Fabrik, the catalogue of the German Pavilion (curated by Florian Ebner) at the Venice Biennale.
He received his Master of Arts degree in Curating and Museum Education, at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). His thesis examined the future of photographic institutions in relation to changes taking place within photographic practice and theory. In addition he holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).



Josef Koudelka: IKONAR. Constellations d’archives / IKONAR Archival constellations (Photo Elysée, November 2022 - January 2023)


60 Species of Photographic Spaces. Exploring the Collections (Photo Elysée, June until December 2022)

Related Realities (23 artist thematic group-exhibition co-curated with Ariane Koek, Maija Tammi + Hannu Vanhanen for Backlight Photo Festival at Galleria Himmelblau, Tampere, Finland, 2020)

Yann Mingard: Everything is up in the air, thus our vertigo (Photo Elysée, Lausanne, 2019)

Plus qu’un jeu ! Le sport dans les collections du Musée de l'Elysée (Photo Elysée, 2019)

Salvatore Vitale: How to Secure a Country (Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur, 2019)

Discipula (Je Vous Propose, Zurich, 2018)

Jules Spinatsch: SUMMIT (Galerie Christophe Guye, Zurich, 2018)

Unfamiliar Familiarities. Outside Views on Switzerland (Fotostiftung Schweiz + Photo Elysée, 2017/2018)

Unseen CO-OP (Unseen Photo Fair, Amsterdam - both 2017 + 2018 editions)

Philippe Dudouit: The Dynamics of Dust (New Discovery Award, Rencontres Arles, 2017)

Imagineering — (Re)activating the Photographic. Klara Källström & Thobias Fäldt, Werker Magazine and Discipula (Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, 2016)

Yann Mingard: Deposit (Tytonie, Krakow, 2016)

Paul Graham: New Europe (Galeria Starmach, 2016)

Max Pinckers: Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty (Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow - MOCAK, 2016)

Beyond Evidence: An Incomplete Narratology of Photographic Truths (co-curated with Louise Clements; FORMAT International Photography Festival, Derby, 2015)

For Future Reference (Paris Photo and Unseen Photo Fair, Amsterdam, 2014)

Tanya Habjouqa: Occupied Pleasures (East Wing, Dubai, 2014).



Josef Koudelka: IKONAR. Constellations d’archives / IKONAR. Archival constellations (Éditions Noir sur Blanc / Spector Books, October 2022)

As editor & author: 
Salvatore Vitale: How to Secure a Country (co-editor with Salvatore Vitale, Lars Müller Publishers, Switzerland, 2019)

Unfamiliar Familiarities. Outside Views on Switzerland (co-editor with Peter Pfrunder & Tatyana Franck, Lars Müller Publishers, Switzerland, 2017)

The (Un)becomings of Photography — On Reaggregating and Reassembling the Photographic and its Institutions (Foundation for Visual Arts, Poland, 2016)

As contributing author: 
Without Relationality Everyone and Everything is an Island in Related Realities (Backlight publications, Finland, 2020)

Grüezi! Where is Andri Pol? in Andri Pol (Youlwadang, South Korea, 2020)

Why Not...Gather Together?! - Imagineering the (Un-)becomings of Photography as Arenas and Communities of Collective Meaning-Making and Collaborative Agency in Why Exhibit? Positions on Exhibiting Photographies (eds. Anna Kaisa Rastenberger + Iris Sikking, Fw:Books, The Netherlands, 2018)

Wonderful to Watch - Some Notes on Ruin Lust and Creative Destruction in/of Photographic Realism in Andrea Botto: KA-BOOM The Explosion of Landscape (Éditions Bessard,France, 2017)
Factory Tools in Fabrik, catalogue of the German Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale (Verlag Walther König, Germany, 2015)

Beyond Evidence: An Incomplete Narratology of Photographic Truths in FORMAT15 — Evidence (Format International Photography Festival,UK, 2015)

Glossary in Yann Mingard: Deposit (Steidl, Germany, 2014)