In La Montagne Dorée (The Golden Mountain) : From » The Devil’s Bridge « , a proposal for a fanciful
setting, I explore the development of real estate projects in the Swiss Alps. In a village in central
Switzerland called Andermatt, an Egyptian investor intends to build a series of hotels, a number of
cottages, some retail spaces and a golf course for about 1.8 billion Swiss francs.
In a steep valley not far from Andermatt, is the setting for a
Swiss mythological story « The Devil’s Bridge ». The story goes
that one day, while the villagers were complaining about not
being able to build a bridge linking two valleys, the devil
enters the stage in the form of a newcomer. He offers to build
the bridge in one night. The residents agree. In exchange for
his endeavor, he asks for the soul of the first person who
crosses the bridge. The next day, it is erected and the villagers
cunningly send a goat instead of a human being. The devil
is so angry that he tries to demolish his work.
In La Montagne Dorée, I propose to revisit this myth through the lens of a contemporary situation
in the form of a fictitious play. The bridge will operate as a metaphor. I cast my players and put
thought into the sets. I produced a number of photographs but I also collected existing images.
The book is an inventory of all my character studies, sets, props and costumes. The captions
are carefully fabricated and sometimes enhanced with additional details allowing the viewer to
create their own story. They hold all the elements to become the director of this play, performing their
own imaginary edits, choosing studies that could become a proposal for a story. The ambiguity
of this position (that of both being a passive onlooker as well as an influential director) , echoes
the contemporary issues related to tourism in the Alps. An issue as philosophical as political.
Should we preserve an attractive industry or leave the mystical landscapes untouched ?