We have made it our mission to bring Switzerland and its many facets closer to a nature- and art-loving audience in an extraordinary way. Photographic portraits of nature play a central role in our project. Beautiful, peaceful places are all around us – we want to share this and have it manifest itself on the viewer. Inspiration will come from classical and traditional objects, yet these will not be derived from typical Swiss clichés. Rather, we will interpret them in new and thought-provoking ways by putting them in contrast with other objects. The images will be accompanied by sound recordings of interviews with local people from each canton whom we sought out and met in the course of our research, and who were willing to share their stories with us.
During our 8-month journey, starting in March and ending in October 2016, we will explore every canton from Appenzell to Zürich for one week each. Our vehicle will serve not only as a mode of transport, but also as our living room, bedroom and, of course, office. Using our intuition, along with tips and insights from the local inhabitants, we’ll explore unique, off-the-beaten-path landscapes and bring to life rare and fascinating objects from the various regions.
The project will primarily speak to a native Swiss audience interested in the arts. Our whereabouts and current route can be followed via social media. With an art book and a vibrant photo and audio exhibit, we want to share VIA HELVETICA with the greater public starting in Spring 2017.
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After waking up in beautiful morning light we decided to take a little time off today and sit in a coffee place to work on some administrative things like website domain, blog etc. Later in the day we drove to Herisau where this sand pit instantly popped into my eyes like a birthday cake does! We couldn’t believe how beautiful it was, the whole setting, surrounded by these unique walls. They almost looked like a piece of art, but the thing was, that our tripod wasnt enough tall so Anne had to drive our car in position so that I could climb on top of it. While I was standing on our car a curious couple came by and started to talk with us. They hardly could not believe that we got so excited about this sand pit and said something like: „Ok, this must be art then!“ ;)
Lucky day, again! Today we took a super tiny road that wasn’t even on the map and after driving our car for like 15min uphill and through a thick forest we spotted this wonderful thing that someone had left there alone for the weekend. Probably some lumberjacks that had been working on it for some reason. We’ll never know exactly, but for us it was almost like an art installation that reminded us on Christo. This plastic foil was about 200-300m long and went up on one and down on the other side. After we got what we needed we kept following the road cause we felt that there was some more waiting for us. And it was: At least 50 cows and a kinda skeptical bull! They almost didnt want Thomas get out of his car so we kept driving and then we found a perfect place on top of a hill overlooking the Rhine valley. We made delicious pasta for dinner and then spent a quite night with some cow bells around us.
After waking up somewhere far outside in the middle of a green field we started to hit the road once more and today we got very lucky by finding this pile of unique looking hey bale outside Teufen. We’ve seen many of these before but always white or green, but never ever pink! Wonder what the farmer looks like that owns these ;)
Anne got pretty excited about it and had to climb onto them right away! We kept driving to check out some gravel pits, hills, pass roads, architecture, people.. along the road when she installed our tripod on my feet while I was looking around for perspectives :D
Lucky us, we found a great place to spend the night and waking up in the morning was no biggie! After Thomas made scrambled eggs for breakfast we all hit the road again and kept following our intuition. While the morning was a bit cloudy, we got surprised by an even more beautiful late afternoon near Gontenbad. Today with us was Julian „Schüli“ Fürsinger, a very talented filmer & friend that was joining us to document on film what we are doing here. Next to a water fountain we stopped our car to refill our water bottles and Schüli mounted his camera onto his car to get some follow cams done. These will be later used in a movie to present VIA HELVETICA to a bigger audience!
So today we officially started our Project VIA HELVETICA by spending our first week in the beautiful Appenzell! First stop: Säntis! We took our hiking shoes with us in order to be able to go wherever we want to go. And after climbing over cliffs and passing snow fields we got pretty successfull, we found this quite awesome and huge rock between Seealpsee & Säntis. It is tremendous! We kept going and found another great landscape before retourning to the very top of Mt. Säntis where we ate a delicious Rösti and then went to find a nice place to park our car for the night. It was a great first day of starting exploring the Canton of Appenzell.
Anne & Thomas
Here you will find what we have already experienced in Appenzellerland.
Anne grew up in Fribourg and studied product design and graphic design at the ECAL in Lausanne. After a brief detour to Paris, Anne came back to Zürich, where she met Thomas. He is a freelance photographer with a focus on landscapes, people and movement. Together they now embark on their next quest and want to share with the public all that Switzerland has to offer. Both Thomas and Anne are inspired and guided primarily by their intuition, an appreciation for peaceful moments, simple design, nature and healthy food.
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