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Mittelland - midland | Michael Blaser | 9783905929300

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Mittelland. Michael Blaser

Auteur:Michael Blaser

Uitgever:Patrick Frey

ISBN: 978-3-905929-30-0

  • Hardcover
  • 144 pagina's
  • 6 mrt. 2013

Photographer Michael Blaser embarks on an uninspiring journey through the small towns and villages of his native Switzerland


Das Mittelland (The Midland)  - a landscape strewn with buildings, oscillating between nature and urbanity. A world full of intersections and gray zones, city and country-side, nature and development, public and private space merging into one. Is the midland merely a conurbation, one large housing settlement ? Michael Blaser grew up in the suburbia, which is perhaps why he has taken an interest in its idiosyncrasies. He is not creating landscape and architecture photographs. His pictures are a social documentation.

Across the hilly landscape of the densely populated Swiss Plateau, the colours are always muted and the skies always seem to be grey. The same types of houses and flats crop up, with the same stucco facades and identical flower plantings and garden sheds. Blaser painstakingly records this monotonous landscape through numerous photographs, presenting something quite apart from the idyllic quiet house in a small town we might imagine – and equally as boring.

Photographer Michael Blaser embarks on an uninspiring journey through the small towns and villages of his native Switzerland


Das Mittelland (The Midland)  - a landscape strewn with buildings, oscillating between nature and urbanity. A world full of intersections and gray zones, city and country-side, nature and development, public and private space merging into one. Is the midland merely a conurbation, one large housing settlement ? Michael Blaser grew up in the suburbia, which is perhaps why he has taken an interest in its idiosyncrasies. He is not creating landscape and architecture photographs. His pictures are a social documentation.

Across the hilly landscape of the densely populated Swiss Plateau, the colours are always muted and the skies always seem to be grey. The same types of houses and flats crop up, with the same stucco facades and identical flower plantings and garden sheds. Blaser painstakingly records this monotonous landscape through numerous photographs, presenting something quite apart from the idyllic quiet house in a small town we might imagine – and equally as boring.

These domesticated landscapes together with their infrastructures are a reflection of contemporary Switzerland, a country striving for a modern, urban identity, and yet still unable to free itself of its provincial image. There are no people in Blaser’s pictures, but their presence is nevertheless strongly felt. The sober facades hint at the inner life of the buildings and their residents. An unsettling quiet radiates from the strict composition and the pictures that are devoid of people. A strange melancholy pervades the work. The observant viewer senses a narrative moment behind the seemingly formal and banal presentation, a subtle bitter-sweet poetry of everyday life.

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