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Unguided Road Trip

Unguided Road Trip

By (author) Nadine Olonetzky
By (author) Roland Iselin


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  • A photographic investigation about the design of landscapes and habitats
  • A comparative portrait of the US and Switzerland from a very particular view point
  • First publication of Roland Iselin's Unguided Road Trip project
Full Description

Swiss photographer Roland Iselin, born 1958, graduated from the famous photography class at the School of Design in Zurich (today Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK) and also completed a Master’s degree at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Prior to his artistic education, he completed his studies in socio-cultural animation at Zurich-based Institute of Applied Psychology. Unguided Road Trip is Iselin’s latest long-term project. Since 2011, he has been travelling his native Switzerland and his adopted second home country, the US, documenting how in either place the landscape is ‘furnished’ with all sorts of structures and objects. Bus stops, public toilets, gas stations. We recognise such things and make use of the convenience they offer, yet we forget about them again immediately. In small and densely populated Switzerland, the landscape is cluttered with objects that serve a specific purpose: phone and letterboxes, benches, signposts, wayside crosses. But equally, the vast and scarcely inhabited open landscapes in the US are cut-across by roads lined by mass-produced objects. Iselin has found many motifs common in both countries: memorials for victims of road accidents, cattle gates, rifle ranges with their pavilions, rest stops. A landscape’s ‘furniture’ does not accumulate accidentally. Rather, each object is placed intentionally, and they testify, in a way, to a society’s state. Iselin’s images demonstrate values and ideals, showing how the design of these objects guides our behavior. This new book brings together some 140 photographs from Iselin’s Unguided Road Trip, for the first time. The images are complemented with texts by writer and photography critic Nadine Olonetzky. Text in English and German.

About the Author

Roland Iselin studied photography at Zurich's School of Art and Design and School of Visual Arts in New York. He lives and works as a freelance photographic artist in Switzerland. Nadine Olonetzky is a freelance writer and critic and an editor with Scheidegger & Spiess.

Scheidegger & Spiess
1st Jun 2017
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
255 mm x 95 mm
204 Pages
132 color
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