MAURICE HAAS – EN PASSANT
Zurich - From September until November 2013
Maurice Haas’photographs can also be purchased independently of the exhibition.
Tilda Swinton lay down in the autumn leaves for him: in Zurich and in broad daylight, so to speak. Peter Beard smokes a cigarette in full camera shot in a bar in New York. Later, in his apartment, he puts on a gorilla mask. Susan Sarandon’s face is turned to one side, her pensiveness the light the photographer grants her. And Bruno Ganz is an inhabitant of a frigid zone of the heart, a sceptic from the permafrost, as he looks through the car windscreen into Maurice Haas’s camera. It is late December, and it appears as if the actor – the soul of discretion himself – knew that on the other side of the glass, equally discreet, sits a brother-in-arms. Is it a moment of complicity en passant, however fleeting? Maurice Haas’s pictures give us no answers. They are brief, quiet moments of trust, and they speak the language of emotion. They are drawings with light. They – simply – are. And we all know how difficult simplicity is.
Whether Haas is working with analogue or digital equipment. Whether he finds his images in Switzerland or in America, in Bolivia or Kathmandu, these photographs are. And they are beautiful: beautifully harmonious, poetry in a minor key. And that alone, because it is not modern, is daring. But whether Maurice Haas is making portraits or photo reportages, doing fashion shoots or projects of his own, he approaches the staging with care but is always crystal-clear in his aesthetic intentions and composition. He is a visionary who gives form to his vision while allowing it free rein. Just like his cowboys. Haas does not photograph the Marlboro Man so much as his silhouette on the horizon, a thirsty man on a horse, a tattered fragment of the American dream, holding on grimly to a thermos flask. Maurice Haas’s pictures are witty. When you look again. And they have a certain understatement. This is not about art. But what, then? Maurice Haas invites the viewer to make up his own mind. In the knowledge that beauty can be an attitude towards the fleeting nature of time.