new-york

“The Eye Of The Beholder: Seven Contemporary Swiss Photographers”

Swiss Institute / CONTEMPORARY ART

Writing in The Village Voice at the height of the culture wars in this country, Michael Feingold made a modest proposal that U.S. artists and writers apply en masse for sanctuary in Switzerland. His comment wryly reveals some of the stereotypes Americans reflexively invoke to characterize all things Swiss: cool detachment and political neutrality.

Stereotypes always obscure more than they reveal. Although “Swiss photography” is generally thought to flow from the reportage of earlier masters such as Werner Bischof and Walter Bosshard, the most emotionally expressive and politically direct (nonneutral) photographic work of this or any other period was produced by a Swiss immigrant to New York named Robert Frank.

“The Eye of the Beholder,” organized by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and the Swiss Institute in New York, managed to complicate stereotypes surrounding Swiss photography and

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