I am interested in the remains of a historical past, which people still try to maintain by finding new ways of survival in a hostile and remote environment.
Since my ancestors lived in such a place and the whole family has been living (and some still are) as watchmakers and myself partly growing up there, this journey involves more than just a visual quest.
My extended journey encompasses remote valleys in Switzerland, which have been prosperous by industrial means in the past. Some parts have been famous either for their textile industry, others for horology and precision mechanics. Due to relocation of production facilities abroad and extensive high living costs in general vast parts of these valleys are mostly populated by people finding work in tourism, few remaining farmers or refugees, which can't afford or find better. At the same time recent undertakings to revitalize economy have brought new domestic and international industry to the regions. The impact of migration and immigration is visible on the level of landscape as well as habitation and specific industrial sectors.
I encounter stunning industrial buildings, some partly still operating and others abandoned and dilapidated.
Workers' settlements near bigger cities have been transformed into luxury apartments whereas the most isolated ones are to serve as accommodation for refugees. Local population and newcomers mingle in the surroundings of industrial buildings and many a longing for the originating country and culture is visible by creative means.
This project is ongoing and I am busy discovering small communities and villages meandering the mountains.
My intention has evolved in favor of my personal background, implicating a deeper view on the region my ancestors dwelled.