The Swiss Foundation for Photography (Fotostiftung Schweiz) is marking its fortieth anniversary by presenting a fresh take on Swiss photography. The jubilee exhibition focuses on a selection of photobooks that have influenced photography in Switzerland since the late 1920s.
Nowadays, many of us look towards Tumblr as a resource for images. Decades ago, before the dawn of the internet, photographers had but one way of making their work known; through the publication of a photobook. Having said that, the photobook played a major role in the history of photography not only by publicizing photographers and their photographs, but also as an independent means of expression. Very often, the significance of many a photographers’ work only emerged when presented in bound form.
Ever since the late 1920s, technical advances have made the reproduction of top quality photographic images possible. This was key in the development of photographic styles and modes of expression.
The exhibition by the Swiss Foundation for Photography is based on an extensive research project in which hundreds, in part long-forgotten photobooks were brought together and critically examined. Focusing on seven thematic areas: homeland, portraiture, mountain photography, the world of work, aerial photography, contemporary history and travel, the exhibition highlights the typology of the Swiss photobook and draws attention to the interplay between book and photograph.
The publication which accompanies the exhibition includes texts by 23 authors and aims to form a backbone for an in-depth study of a new history of Swiss photography. Swiss Photobooks from 1927 to the present is open at Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur, until the 19th February 2012.
Source/further information: Fotostiftung