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Analogue C-print, Los Angeles 18.07.1981, 1981, by Simone Kappeler, rear view of female in car, SIMONE KAPPELER AMERICA 1981 in white font to lower right.

Simone Kappeler - America 1981

By (author) Simone Kappeler
Contributions by Peter Pfrunder


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  • The re-visitation and re-interpretation of her own view of America in the early 1980s by Simone Kappeler, one of Switzerland's most distinguished contemporary photographic artists
  • First-ever publication of Kappeler's American collection of 1981-83
Full Description

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Zurich’s youth was rebellious. An entire generation of students was in search for the ‘new’. In 1981, photographic artist Simone Kappeler left her native Switzerland, setting off on a road trip across America. She took with her a Hasselblad, a 35 mm camera, as well as a Polaroid. Over the course of the journey, she would add a multitude of cheap cameras to this collection that enabled snapshot-like images – taken unselfconsciously whenever a motif sprang at her. The images reflect a direct and unrestrained manner, they tell of immediate sensual experience and the longing for freedom and independence.

Thirty-five years later, Kappeler has revisited the vast collection that resulted from her undertaking. The selection of some 230 images and their composition reveal a consistent artistic perspective and a signature style. And even today, her 1981 view of America has lost none of its magic.

Text in English and German.

About the Author

Simone Kappeler, born 1952, read German and French literature and art history at University of Zurich before studying photography at Zurich's School of Design (now Zurich University of the Arts), from where she graduated in 1979. She lives and works as a freelance photographic artist in Zurich.

Peter Pfrunder is director of Swiss Foundation for Photography in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Scheidegger & Spiess
8th Apr 2020
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
340 mm x 240 mm
256 Pages
160 color, 77 b&w
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