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On Common Ground

On Common Ground

Schlieren - Upper Engadine. Photographs of Spatial Development

By (author) Meret Wandeler
By (author) Ulrich Gorlich
By (author) Christian Schmid


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  • Contains a photographic history of spatial development in post-war Switzerland including previously unpublished material
  • Investigates photography as a resource of documentation for architectural and socio-economical history and developments
  • This text is based on an artistic research project at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Full Description

This book presents the development of settlements in post-war Switzerland by two idealised examples. Schlieren, which grew from an agricultural village to an industrial town and eventually to a cluster of service firms and residential suburb of Zürich, and the Upper Engadine, the world famous mountain resort around St. Moritz in the Canton of Grisons. The authors have put together a vast collection of photographs found in archives of all sorts: local government offices, building companies, local and national newspapers, publishers of postcards, cultural heritage societies and amateur photographers. Such images have rarely been collected and analysed systematically. On Common Ground presents 250 of these images in a double-track, chronological sequence with Schlieren at the top and the Upper Engadine at the bottom half of each page. The concept reveals manifold references, discrepancies and parallels between the two places. It makes traceable the passing of time and all the changes it imposes at times synchronically, in some periods at a different pace in each place. Two short essays complement the pictures, looking at the socio-economic developments in both areas and providing background information about the search for the images at the various archives. Text in English and German.

About the Author

Ulrich Görlich, born 1952 in Germany, has been working with photography as an artistic medium since 1977. He has been teaching as a professor at the Zürich University for the Arts (ZHdK) and its preceding institution, School of Art and Design Zürich (hgkz), since 1990. Meret Wandeler, born in Zürich in 1967, was educated in photography at the former School of Art and Design Zurich (hgkz, now Zurich University for the Arts ZHdK) and the School of Visual Arts in New York from 1990 - 95. She works on artistic research projects on photography and spatial development in Zürich. Wandeler also realises actions as a performance artist and other artistic projects as a freelance photographer. Christian Schmid, born 1958 in Zürich, read geography and sociology at the University of Zurich. He has been teaching as a lecturer at the Department of Architecture of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) since 2001 and at ETH Studio Basel since 2007. He has been a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich since 2009.

Scheidegger & Spiess
12th Dec 2012
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
325 mm x 240 mm
176 Pages
150 color, 100 b&w
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