28.10. – 22.12.2017
The exhibition 'Helvetica' by Andreas Herzau in the Soiz gallery is a photographic debate with Switzerland. He has visited this country many times in the last fifty years and recorded its various places, subjects and people. Herzau is not so much interested in photographic coverage in the reporting sense but in the comparison of reality to preconceived clichés.
Herzau shows a country which he values for its achievements – although he soon realizes that it has difficulties with its own high demands. Strong nationalistic and defensive attitudes become apparent even although it is an affluent nation with a long tradition of liberal democracy and political neutrality.
The photographer deliberates the contradictions of the Helvatic self-perception and reflects on his role as a foreigner. As a photographer, he scrutinizes exactly these fracture points.
The trigger for this work was René Burris' famous book 'Die Deutschen' from 1962 which fell into Herzau's hands during his preparations for a lecture about photography books. He thereupon decided to pay the Swiss a return visit. The book 'Helvetica' was published in September 2017 by the Swiss publisher Nimbus (ISBN 978-3-03850-039-1, €38). As in Burris' work where short German texts accompany each picture, this publication contains poems by Nora and Eugen Gomringer.