On Horizons at Fotomuseum Winterthur (Swiss)

On Horizons – Set 8 from the Collection of the Fotomuseum Winterthur
Fotomuseum Winterthur
September 3 – November 13, 2011

Shomei Tomatsu
The photographic gaze into the horizon is the mirror for internal and external states and produces artistic interpretations and commentaries. As in other artistic genres, landscape in photography is interpreted through political and private gazes and the results go far beyond purely aesthetic experiences. Assembled from the collection of the Fotomuseum Winterthur, this exhibition shows how photographers since the mid-1960s have approached their imagery from a range of analytical and emotional standpoints.

Exploring unknown locations provides the creative impulse for works by three Swiss photographers Balthasar Burkhard, Reto Camenisch, and Jan Jedliĉka, who express their visions in monumental individual images or in series of small-scale works. With Lewis Baltz, a participant of the famous exhibition “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape” is presented, which in 1975 first addressed the human-created interface between civilization and nature.

Time for looking and contemplation is the central element of “Sky”, an eighty-one image slide show by weather phenomenologist Andreas Züst. Accordingly, it shares a close bond with the hi-gloss digital video “Highlights II” by Dominik Hodel as well as the publication “LA AIR” by Bruce Nauman, which presents sunsets over Los Angeles juxtaposed with minimalist colour studies.

When Robert Frank seeks visual answers to elementary questions of life in the sparse surroundings of his house in Nova Scotia, circling about his direct environment again and again, landscape becomes a projection screen for yearnings and remembrances. When Christian Schwager photographs almost innocent-looking meadows and forests in Bosnia some ten years after the civil war, the unhealed wounds, the hidden signs of violence, disturb us. Pictures of landscape are never neutral, the exacting gaze of the photographs anchor them in a particular zeitgeist and open up addition levels of meaning.

With works by Caroline Bachmann/Stefan Banz, Lewis Baltz, Balthasar Burkhard, Reto Camenisch, Gintaras Didžiapetris, Dick Duyves, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Peter Fischli/David Weiss, Thomas Flechtner, Robert Frank, Dunja Evers, Luigi Ghirri, John Gossage, Guido Guidi, Robert Häusser, Dominik Hodel, Roni Horn, Axel Hütte, Jan Jedliĉka, Claudio Moser, Bruce Nauman, Igor Savchenko, Christian Schwager, Yoshiko Seino, Shomei Tomatsu, Garry Winogrand, and Andreas Züst.

The exhibition has been organized by Thomas Seelig, curator of the collection at Fotomuseum Winterthur.Accompanying the exhibition is a short publication, “On Horizons – Set 8 from the Collection of the Fotomuseum Winterthur”, from a series of publications on the collection of Fotomuseum Winterthur. It features an introductory essay by Christoph Ribbat as well as short texts on all participating artists.