Police dog, Zurich, 2016, from the series «How to Secure a Country», 2014–2018 © Salvatore Vitale

Salvatore Vitale
How to Secure a Country

23 February to 26 May 2019

Switzerland is generally regarded as one of the safest countries in the world - and as exemplary in terms of efficiency and productivity. But how do state and private actors ensure this valuable commodity, which is as much a basic need as a billion-dollar business? And how much freedom are we as citizens willing to give up for our security? Resulting from a visual research project carried out over several years, Salvatore Vitale (born 1986 in Palermo, living in Lugano and Zurich) investigates the mechanisms underlying this preventive and defensive shield. He takes a close look at the various protagonists involved - police, military, customs and migration authorities, weather services, IT companies and research institutions for robotics and artificial intelligence. With photographs as well as data analysis and a sensor-based installation, the exhibition makes it possible to experience the sometimes hidden and often abstract creation of security in a tangible way. It sees itself as a contemporaneous artistic contribution to the debate in a society that is confronted with growing threats – real or perceived – from terrorism and cybercrime, surveillance and data misuse. Fotostiftung Schweiz presents the first comprehensive exhibition of this work by the Swiss artist of Italian descent.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication published by Lars Müller Publishers.


From the 63-part series «Temporary Urban Spaces», 2018 © Daniela Keiser. Courtesy Galerie Stampa

Photographic Explorations

8 June to 6 October 2019

The moon landing on 21 July 1969 was one of the events of the century. Fifty years after man first set foot on the surface of the moon, Fotostiftung Schweiz looks at the photographic representation of this celestial body, which has always inspired people's fantasies. It presents not so much a scientific or documentary examination of the moon, as the pictorial translation of an elusive experience. The "de-mystification" of the moon is a shock that has also released artistic energies. The romantic transfiguration has given way to a debate about the role of humankind in the universe. This is expressed in conceptual and epistemological approaches which, however, also preserve the sensual fascination emanating from the moon. What unites the positions represented in the exhibition is the calling into question of an event whose ambivalence still gives cause for thought today: the pure scale of the undertaking and the technical achievements that made it possible contrast with the banality of what was found and the motives behind the space missions, the Space Race. In addition to selected historical works, contemporary works and installations are primarily presented.

Yeye Quebutti, 2018 © Guido Baselgia

Guido Baselgia
As If the World Were There to Be Measured

19 October 2019
to 16 February 2020

The photographer as a travelling researcher: over the past twenty years Guido Baselgia has travelled with his camera through peripheral geological zones, scanning the earth's barren surface and observing light phenomena in the Alps, the Andes and northern Norway. He has translated his studies into the visual idiom of slow, analog photography. The result is black-and-white tableaus bordering on the abstract, presented in the form of large-format silver-gelatine prints or heliogravures which are characterised by their detail and material quality. The exhibition follows on from the well-known cycles "Hochland", "Weltraum", "Silberschicht" and "Light Fall", and presents Baselgia's latest project for the first time. This leads him to Ecuador and Peru in the Amazon basin. On his expeditions the photographer deals with the depictability of the tropical rainforest. He transforms the shimmering density and diversity of the vegetation into compositions of the greatest calm and concentration. Portraits of the indigenous inhabitants and still lifes from the surroundings of their settlements become reflections on the photographic representation of this threatened world. Like a memento mori, Baselgia's work pays tribute to this landscape, whose economic exploitation has long had an impact on our global climate.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication published by Edizioni Periferia.