14 artworks align with vertical nature of swiss alps for art safiental 2018

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spread across the alpine valley of safiental, switzerland, hikers can explore 14 contemporary pieces of art that reinterpret the awe-inspiring nature that surrounds them. art safiental, a public outdoor biennial running for its second edition, explores the theme of ‘horizontal-vertical’ for 2018. as such, the work re-conceptualizes historic american land art of the 1970s, which focuses on horizontal landscapes, to align with the vertical orientation of the swiss mountains.


lita albuquerque: transparent earth
image © lita albuquerque
(main image © ueli alder)

while the canonical positions from the american west often deal with the horizontal, representatives of the alpine countries have almost no other choice geographically than to deal with the vertical. in this field of tension between mountain and plain, most of the works of this year’s show are re-positioning and reinventing the landscape,explains artistic director johannes M. hedinger, who founded of the biennial and summer school alps art academy in 2016.


bob gramsma: egschi shell
image © thomas rickenmann

the exhibition of art safiental 2018 is placed in many different settings, from inside to out and atop a mountain to floating on a lake. To highlight a few: zurich based artist bob gramsma floats an 8 x 8 meter, 10 ton concrete shell in a lake; the ‘himmel III’ by swiss-austrian duo bildstein / glatz reverses the view from horizontal to vertical with the monumental L-shape sculpture; and lita albuquerque’s transparent earth work is placed on a high vantage point, depicting a woman lying down and listening to the depths of the planet. this communicates to the other side of the globe with an indentical figure to be placed in new zealand.


bildstein / glatz: HIMMEL III
image © ueli alder

from versam to tenna, safien platz to turrahus and wanna, the art safiental 2018 exhibition is free for visitors to explore – just like the landscape around it. from july to october, the art is accessible via hiking trails and also public transport, with exact locations marked on a free hiking map.


ingeborg lüscher: lichtkreis im safiental
image © ueli alder


DIG collective: a hole in the alps
image © DIG collective


com&com: bergkanzel
image © ueli alder


analia saban: circuit board for rock painting
image © ueli alder


marianne halter & mario marchisella: apedromo
image © ueli alder


paul barsch & tilman hornig: sanitary ceramics
image © thomas rickenmann


mirja busch: earthwork planted
image © mirja busch


ueli alder: camera obscura
image © ueli alder


gerber/bardill: looking for oneself within the gorge of acla
image © thomas rickenmann


H.R. fricker: safiental-karrette
image © johannes hedinger


steve rowell: water castle
image © ueli alder


roman signer: explosion
image © ueli alder

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lita albuquerque: transparent earth image © thomas rickenmann

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bob gramsma: egschi shell image © thomas rickenmann

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bildstein / glatz: HIMMEL III image © ueli alder

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ingeborg lüscher: lichtkreis im safiental image © ueli alder

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DIG collective: a hole in the alps image © ueli alder

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com&com: bergkanzel image © ueli alder

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analia saban: circuit board for rock painting image © ueli alder

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marianne halter & mario marchisella: apedromo image © ueli alder

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paul barsch & tilman hornig: sanitary ceramics image © thomas rickenmann

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mirja busch: earthwork planted image © ueli alder

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ueli alder: camera obscura image © ueli alder

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gerber/bardill: looking for oneself within the gorge of acla image © ueli alder

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H.R. fricker: safiental-karrette image © johannes hedinger

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steve rowell: water castle image © steve rowell

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roman signer: explosion image © emil grubenmann

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