Sunday, December 7, 2008

Yann Gross' Horizonville

I found the work of Swiss photographer Yann Gross today. His seris Horizonville explores a culture of people in the Rhône Valley who deeply sympathetize with the American Dream. As Manfred Schmalriede observes:

"Here in Switzerland the Wild West myth has the characteristis of the life of former American pioneers transposed into the modern world. Thus the contemporary and the histrorcally-oriented way of life clash. Industrial buildings as the ambience for rustic architecture, and on top of this the guarantores of mobility, mobile homes, trucks, cars and motor bikes rebuilt for all possible events, compete with horses, nostalgic clothes, symbols, tattoos. The paradigms are treated generously as too are obviously the activities derived from them. Everything evokes the impression of bizarre absurdity. Yet, espescially in the portraits, the photographer gives the people the possibility of consciously showing themselves in a discreet way. Something which initially strikes us as being alien to all the norms of our society thus receives a touch of normality. Using photography obviously makes it possible to document differences in our view of life and to interpret them so that we learn to understand and respect them. In my opinion, with this documentation and interpretation Yann Gross has proved that a photographer really can combine the position of distant observer with the understanding stance of a transient participant."

All photographs from the series Horizonville

All Images © Yann Gross