Nachwort (La Montagne Dorée)

Dear Thomas,
I’ve been to Andermatt. Since these five years, a lot has changed and in the same time
nothing has changed. I noticed that I had more fear of seeing the potential of the
project than the project realized in the end. It makes me wonder how we accept these
challenging projects in our neighborhoods. I feel that I have no connections to that place
and that it doesn’t seem to have changed the life of the people here.
The only thing I noticed is that I cannot count how many Porsche cars there are here.
It reminds me of this performance I’ve seen in Geneva where the woman was saying
that potentially it’s always beautiful to see a Porsche car burning. I mean you really feel
that there is some cash flowing around. Yesterday we went to have a 7 CHF beer at the
Chedi Andermatt. When I planned to come here, I checked some hotels on
and I just checked the prices of the hotel rooms at the Chedi. It’s 600 CHF a room. In
the end, I was happy that I couldn’t afford this, as being there was so uncomfortable.
We were on the terrace in front of a pond. All around us, the huge Chedi buildings.
Leftside, in a covered swimming pool, you could see the rich probably good swimmers.
One woman came out of the water with her child and they both had a dressing gown
their size.
In the distance, we hear the bells ringing 6 o’clock as a reminder that there is an outside
to this golden cage. Maybe that could be another title to this ‘Nachwort’. On the beer
glasses served, as a mise en abyme, there is a drawing of the devil and the goat.
Now seeing the pictures that I intuitively made during these two days makes me think
of the process I apply when making some of my photo projects. Instead of having a
strong discourse and then illustrating it with pictures, I prefer taking pictures and then
seeing what emerges, what comes out of it. The pictures give me my story.
Today I’ve been to the devil’s bridge. Back five years ago, I didn’t go. It was a nice
ending to my story, it’s far more interesting than the Sawiris buildings Sawiris. Finally
by coming again, it seems that the topic is not a topic anymore. A steam roller of money
just came, as it comes to a lot of places. Now people are adapting to that new data.
The houses built by Sawiris are two times bigger than all the houses in Andermatt and
there seem to be no other concerns than the one of making money. No reflection around
social, aesthetic or even ecological aspects. It’s really a ‘beginning of the 21st century’
project where money is more important than anything else. What seems to be even more
depressing is that it looks as if there is no opposition to this kind of general move. (but if
you hear something that contradicts my perception, I would be pleased).
The waitress at the restaurant last night told me that it’s good that rich people come to
the Chedi because they also visit the rest of the village and come in restaurants like the
one we were.
This morning I woke up at 5:15AM and I heard the birds singing, I was happy that
they were singing, I thought that at least they would continue indefinitely and then I
thought of the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carsen and it depressed me again.
Yesterday, as it began to rain, we were joking with Simon saying that god is rambling
on by sending signs to us. I think that fundamentally I want to oppose these kinds of
projects. But at the same time, as I watch the pictures I made this time, I would say that
it’s not my role to come and denounce the things I am not connected to. I would rather
stand for an active curiosity and wandering on the outskirts. An observation of the world
and its interstices. Walking around and observing the nooks and crannies. The rivers.
I am still wondering about two things, what would Hermine and Erwin think of the
project ? And why did Sawiris choose Andermatt ? First intuition would be to think
about the fact that it’s a quite interesting region knowing that it shelters the sources of the
Rhine, the Reuss and the Rhone.
And recently, I heard that Sawiris is taking a step back from his company to build some
migrants towns in Egypt. What a strange turning point of the story.
all the best and see you next week,
‘‘what will survive of us of us is love. Wrong. What will survive of us is plastic.
composting is so hot, we must collect up trash from the anthropocene.
we are all lichens. Human as humus. Think we must. We must think.’’
Thanks to Simon Rimaz, Thomas Seelig, Nadja Kilchhofer and
Copytrend, Lausanne. With the support of Fotomuseum Winterthur
Nachwort, La Montagne Dorée 2012/2017
link to pdf: nachwort_planches_mziehli2
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Talk around Nachwort with Thomas Seelig at Liste / art basel, in june 2017