The Staff of Life. Aerial Photographs by Georg Gerster

Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur
15 March to 26 May 2013

The Swiss photographer Georg Gerster (born 1928 in Winterthur) has “ennobled the traditional aerial photograph” in the course of half a century of aerial photography. In doing so, the Doctor of German Studies not only gained technical mastery, but also combined his fascination with abstract forms and intoxicating colours with a thirst for knowledge. In Gerster’s case, the alienation effect inherent in the aerial photograph is by no means an end in itself. Gerster uses it to awaken the viewer’s respect for the beauty and uniqueness of our planet. He also avails of it to promote an understanding of the old structures and life forms that have evolved over the centuries, and to document the impact on the ecology of human intervention. Fifty years after his first ‘photography flight’ to the Sudan in 1963, the Fotostiftung Schweiz in Winterthur is devoting a monographic exhibition to his work. Under the heading “The Staff of Life.” it highlights the theme of world food supplies, a focal point in Gerster’s oeuvre. In addition to a number of classics, the exhibition also presents numerous works that have been enlarged for the first time.


Growing wheat near Caparroso in Navarra, Spain 1995 © Georg Gerster

Fringe events:

Tuesday, 9 April 2013, 12.15-12.45pm:
Bildfokus am Mittag with Teresa Gruber.
Admission: CHF 10.–/8.–
Whrere: Fotostiftung Schweiz

Wednesday, 17 April 2013, 7.30-8.30pm:
Above the Clouds. Eduard Spelterini (1852-1931), pioneer balloonist and photographer. Lecture by Hilar Stadler, Director, Museum Bellpark, Kriens.
Admission: CHF 15.–/10.–
Where: Fotostiftung Schweiz (Seminarraum)

Sunday, 5 May 2013, 11.30am-12.30pm:
Tour of the exhibition with Georg Gerster.
Admission: CHF 8.–/6.–
Where: Fotostiftung Schweiz

Wednesday, 22 May 2013, 7.30-8.30pm:
«Wir starten!» – Walter Mittelholzer (1894-1937) as aviator and photographer. Lecture by Nicole Graf, Director, Images and Maps, Library ETH, Zurich.
Admission: CHF 15.–/10.–
Where: Fotostiftung Schweiz (Seminarraum)

With support from the Federal Office of Culture, Migros-Kulturprozent, george foundation, F. Aeschbach AG, Keystone, Stadt Winterthur and ERC Uster.