Twelve Swiss Museums, on Film and in Photos

General / People / Places / October 27, 2017

Once again, architecture photographer Paul Clemence is living the dream.

With filmmaker Aksel Stasny, he was invited by Switzerland Travel to tour and shoot 12 Swiss museums.

In Basel, he found a tiny gallery with small paintings by Claude Monet. But in Zurich, there was a huge gallery with massive works by the same artist.

“One felt very intimate and close to the pieces and the other you needed distance, and the light was different,” he says. “There were all these different ways of approaching architecture.”

His Swiss experiences were about three elements: Architectural space, the art and the museums’ approach to showing the art.

“It was an opportunity to see the museum typology up close,” he says. “It was not just about the art and architecture, but the museum experience – we saw that in different scales and approaches.”

And the photographer and filmmaker differed in their individual approaches as well – even if looking for similar results.

“Aksel was trying to do in film what I do in photography, but to do that in film is a little bit different,” he says. “He was looking at the space and the timing because that’s the way he approaches art.”

In Bern, they found a Renzo Piano Building dedicated to Paul Klee, one that connects to the landscape like a Zaha Hadid building. “From the outside it’s a very unusual building – it really grows out of the landscape.”

And though it’s a Paul Klee museum it holds no permanent Klee collection that’s continuously displayed. “It’s always changing, and a little more dynamic,” he says.

The bottom line for the tour, the filmmaking and the photography? “It’s an X-ray or impression of the museum experience,” he says. “It’s not told in a documentary way, but an expressive way – what the feeling of being there is like.”

It’s called “12 Impressions,” it’s on Facebook and you can see it here.

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Michael Welton




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