forgotten & overlooked – from the collection of the Fotostiftung Schweiz

3 June to 20 August 2006


Gerda Meyerhof
Rückenakt, 1973
© Fotostiftung Schweiz

Martin Imboden
Frauenportrait, 1926/29
© Fotostiftung Schweiz

Martin Glaus
Seebergseedorfet, 1958
© Fotostiftung Schweiz / ProLitteris

Ever since its foundation 35 years ago, one of the major tasks of the Fotostiftung Schweiz has been to collect, exhibit and document photographic work - with the emphasis on Switzerland - in its various forms. In particular, this includes taking over and managing whole estates and archives. The exhibition "forgotten & overlooked" provides insights into seven oeuvres to whose preservation the Fotostiftung Schweiz is committed - works which, for various reasons, are threatened by oblivion as far as the general public is concerned. The title of the exhibition refers to a wide field of photographic work that is currently somewhat overshadowed by a spectactular, compulsorily innovative type of image production in today's art world.

Doris Quarella
Ambros Lussmann, Holzarbeiter, Silenen, 1979
© Fotostiftung Schweiz

Wilhelm Felber
Hochzeit im Hirserenbad, 1939
© Fotostiftung Schweiz

Peter W. Häberlin
Buduma-Frau, um 1943
© Fotostiftung Schweiz

Hugo Jaeggi
Trudi R., 1987
© Hugo Jaeggi

The common denominator of the seven photographers is their intensive preoccupation with the portrayal of the human being, in which diametrically opposed aesthetic approaches collide: enraptured idealisation modelled on the art of painting contrasts with objectivity in the sense of "straight photography", and the reportage-like inclusion of the milieu clashes with sociologically based series of portraits. In addition, the seven positions prove to be informative fragments of a history of photography - a history that reflects more than mere technical changes. The exhibition makes us aware of the extent to which our understanding of the human being and the world has altered during the course of the 20th century owing to ideological and social changes. Works by Martin Imboden (1893-1935), Peter W. Häberlin (1912-1953), Wilhelm Felber (*1918), Gerda Meyerhof (*1914), Martin Glaus (*1927), Hugo Jaeggi (*1936) and Doris Quarella (1944-1998) represent seven independent and fascinating answers to the questions: what is the human being, what is society?

Publication: vergessen & verkannt - aus der Sammlung der Fotostiftung Schweiz. Hrsg. von Peter Pfrunder. Fotostiftung Schweiz / Limmat Verlag, 2006.