DANIEL SCHWEIZER AN AMAZONIAN ODYSSEY
Daniel Schweizer has been based in Sion with his editing studio for more than 10 years. He is an anthropologist, a director of committed documentaries and a teacher at Head (Haute école d’Art et de Design) in Geneva. He was first known for his series of documentaries on right-wing extremism in Europe (Skin or Die (2003), Skinhead Attitude (2003) and White Terror (2005) ) before turning his attention to the social, cultural and economic problems of the Amazon (Brazil, Surinam, Guyana, Peru). It is this part of his documentary work, which castigates the links between the gold trade, Switzerland and the delicate situation of the last indigenous peoples of Amazonia, that the Fellini Foundation presents in its new exhibition at the Maison du Diable in Sion, Switzerland from 08.10.2022 to 15.01.2023.
Stephan Marti President of the Fellini Foundation stated: “ The first vision of the Amazon that came to Daniel Schweizer’s eyes, as he tells us in his magnificent book, appears beyond the fog and the storm that the small plane carrying him had to pass through, as a kind of threshold towards that last page of Genesis that had yet to be written, – to use the image of Euclid da Cunha, a Brazilian author who was invited, as were so many others, in this book of memory and warning. The river is wide and our dugout canoe runs in the middle of the stream. This book, as well as the exhibition that dialogues with it, remind us that words and images are also there to make us dream, as the Virgilian odyssey once did, or, closer to us, the stories of Fenimore Cooper, Jack London, and of course the books of Nicolas Bouvier as well as the immense heritage of René Fuerst, two tutelary figures of Daniel Schweizer, who has become a surveyor of the world in his turn.“
President Marti explained: “ How much this exhibition recalls not only the cultural but also the civic role of our institution, which created its first humanitarian exhibition in 2004 in the form of a tribute to Nicolas Bouvier entitled Levant fertile. This was eight years after we invited this enchanter to our beautiful city of Sion to talk to us about popular art. In support of the nomadic schools of Mongolia, the exhibition Levant fertile brought together several artists around Nicolas Bouvier’s unpublished script West-East Journey to the Orient, including the late director Patricia Plattner, the photographer Jean-Denis Borel and the painter Luc Joly – whom I greet in a friendly manner, for those who do not know it – Luc was one of Daniel Schweizer’s teachers and an old friend of René Fuerst. For more than twenty years, the Fellini Foundation has been reminding us at each of its exhibitions – and this is the 31st within the walls of the Maison du Diable and the 109th in total – that artists are there to awaken universal humanity in the heart of the world, which is what the term yanomami means.”
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