3-25.09.22 / Denise Bertschi & Andrew Norman Wilson
On the occasion of visual arts biennial Festival Images, the flagship project of Images Vevey, La Becque is pleased to host installations by two of its former residents, Denise Bertschi and Andrew Norman Wilson, curated in complicity with the festival and its 2022 theme, “Together”.
With STATE FICTION. Neutral Only On the Outside, Denise Bertschi explores Swiss involvement in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) established in 1953 between North and South Korea, and where several neutral countries were tasked with peacekeeping duties. In the manner of an investigative journalist, Bertschi examines the presence of Swiss soldiers stationed in their “Swiss Camp” until the late 1990s, when the other nations gradually left the DMZ. Using photographs, films, textiles, and documents from the archives of the Federal Administration and Army, she reveals the multitude of images these men took to document their daily lives, their encounters with the local population, and their love of nature. By revealing the discrepancy between reality and the goals of the mission, Bertschi analyzes the construction of a national narrative centered on neutrality, thus questioning Switzerland’s role in the world.
In 1980, Phil Collins released the song “In the Air Tonight”: the tune, with its emblematic drum break, became an immediate success. An urban legend quickly developed around the origin story of this era-defining hit: one that portrayed the famous British singer as the powerless witness to the drowning of a swimmer and to the cowardice of a man refusing to save him. The song and this peculiar narrative are at the heart of the video installation created in 2020 by Andrew Norman Wilson, a resident at La Becque that same year. The American artist develops In the Air Tonight from several experiences – drawn from different periods of his life – related to the peculiar musical structure of the eponymous song. He revisits the urban legend and synchronizes its climax to Collins’ thunderous drums. This narrative and rhythmic concomitance is revealed in a montage that is as precise as it is poetic. With In the Air Tonight, Wilson questions the role of popular narratives and collective imagination in the construction of a work that has become mythical.