Colder / Jours Blancs

Photographs by Thomas Flechtner / François Schaer Finissage March 12, 2016

Snow. Sounds are suddenly muted. The noise of traffic in the cities is no more and in the mountains the snow-laden air has dampened the monotonous click-clack of the ski lifts. Snow. And the landscape is transformed into a graphic. Snow. And suddenly abstraction is a reality, as whimsical and as beautiful as it is firm and relentless. Featuring Thomas Flechtner's series "Colder" and François Schaer's work «Jours blancs», this exhibition is dedicated to snow as expressed through landscapes, light and colour: its magic, its secrets and its powerful aesthetic force.
Nadine Olonetzky





Thomas Flechtner, born in Winterthur in 1961 and a graduate of the Ecole de photographie de Vevey, spent several years from 1997 in La Sagne, not far from La Chaux de Fonds.

In «Colder», which took shape in and around La Chaux de Fonds from 1996 to 2000, and was published in his book «Snow» (Lars Müller Publishers) in 2001, it is cold – no: colder, and it is night. But the snow, which forms gigantic, cowl-like shapes on the roofs and cars, reflects the cool light of the street lamps and the warm light emanating from the shop windows and apartments. Colours are created that are unlike any others we usually see. The observer in these deserted streets is alone and feels almost like a figure from one of Edward Hopper's paintings. But we are enchanted by the magic of it all, by a magic that is only to be found at this time of the day and year, and which we have a need to discover.
Nadine Olonetzky 



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François Schaer, born in Geneva in 1967, is fascinated by the presence of people in mountain landscapes. Ski slopes, fences, posts and avalanche barriers together with the lifts and mountain huts: the signs of human activity are unmistakable.

«Snow-covered mountains and a nebulous veil create a white backdrop. Set against it are spots of colour: blue, yellow, red – the colours typical of winter sport inject life into the emptiness of the alpine world. The few coloured shapes protrude from the uniformity of the snow. Paradoxically, the skiing industry's taming of Nature is further underscored by the photographer's romantic streak: Schaer shows us the grandeur of the mountain landscape but punctuates it with signs of the civilized world. The images slip seamlessly from one world into the other and create an aesthetic, timeless whole.»
Pauline Martin, Curator, Musée de l'Elysée



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