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robertogreco : zurich   6

Far Away From Here - The New York Times
"But ambition always comes to darken your serenity. Technically proficient mountain pictures were good, but I also had to develop my own voice. In photography, as in writing, there’s no shortcut to finding that voice. I could not decide ahead of time that I would take only ugly pictures or only beautiful ones, or that everything would be in focus or blurred, or that I would use only color or only black and white. I had been thinking about landscape, I had been exploring color film for a few years, I was drawn to abstraction, and a certain gentle surrealism to be found in the attitude of objects. But there then followed a situational focus, a sensitivity to what the environment gave me.

Out of this focus, many pictures emerged, most of which didn’t quite work. But I also started to intuit my ley lines. As I shot more and more, I saw that I was drawn to signs, to mirrors in the landscapes (in Switzerland, there are rectangular mirrors at many street crossings, which frame the landscape behind you above the one you are facing), to maps and globes, to mountains as well as to pictures of the mountains in billboards and posters. I noticed — proof perhaps that we cannot help thinking of mountains photographically, the way we cannot help thinking of explosions cinematically — that some of my photographs of mountains looked like photographs of photographs of mountains. I was drawn to this shimmering partition between things and the images of things.

I became less interested in populating my images and more interested in traces of the human without human presence. I used deep shadows less frequently than I had in the past. I pretty much ceased nocturnal shooting. As the sequence began to take shape, I got a better sense of what belonged and what didn’t. I was studying photographs constantly, but I also immersed myself in the rhythms of certain painters and collagists: Chardin, Matisse, Rauschenberg, Mehretu, Mutu. I let go of some ‘‘good’’ photos, the way you strike out pretty sentences from a draft, and I learned how a number of tightly argued photos should be followed by one or two that are simpler and more ventilated. Authorship, after all, is not only what is created but also what is selected.

Along the way, I felt the constant company of doubt: my lack of talent, my impostor’s syndrome, my fear of boring others. Every once in a great while, there was finally a superb picture, but when I looked at it the following week, I would see that it actually wasn’t very good: too obvious, too derivative. Three thousand photographs and three thousand doubts."



"July 2015. Late afternoon. A hotel room in Zurich. I’ve been out shooting all day and have made no good pictures. I remove my lens cap. I’m shooting with a Canon Elan 7 now, a lovely lightweight film S.L.R. from around 2000. I pivot the camera on its tripod. Covering the front of the free-standing wardrobe in the room is a picture of a ship on a lake, beyond which are mountains. You could wake up suddenly at night in this room and, seeing that lake dimly lit by a streetlight, imagine yourself afloat: the slightly vertiginous thrill of being nobody, poised in perfect balance with the satisfaction of having, for that moment, a room of your own.

I face the wardrobe. I open the windows behind me and increase the camera’s exposure setting slightly. A black lamp, gray striped wallpaper, the wardrobe, a foldable luggage rack, black light switches, a brazen handle on a black door. Arrayed like that, they look like an illustration in a child’s encyclopedia. This is a door. This is a ship. This is a lake. This is a mountain. This is a room to which you long to be away, a room redolent of fernweh. This is a man in a room, crouched behind the camera, readying his shot, far away from home, not completely happy, but happier perhaps than he would be elsewhere."
tejucole  2015  photography  switzerland  hsitory  basel  zurich  cameras 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Which is the cleanest city in the world? | Cities | The Guardian
"Fines, public humiliation and citizen action – every city has a different way of dealing with urban cleanliness. But is it community clean-ups or strict municipal laws that have the most success in making a city spotless?"



"There are less punitive ways to be clean and tidy, however. Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, seems to have achieved a clean and litter-free environment without the threat of harsh fines. Not on any of Mercer’s lists, modern Kigali isn’t exactly beautiful. It rises up on a tree-covered slope and is mainly built of concrete, but the level of upkeep is extraordinary.

Indeed, the city’s roundabouts are so well-swept and the grass so well-maintained that wedding couples sprint across the traffic to be photographed in the middle of them. Unusually, this has been achieved not through punishment, but by the principle of Umuganda. This word has many meanings relating to “community” and “payment”, and dates back before Rwanda was part of Belgium’s African empire.

In the 19th century, a number visitors recorded that Rwandans were required to work two days a week for their community leader and during Belgian rule Umuganda was encouraged as a way of bolstering civic responsibility. In the years before the 1994 genocide, President Juvénal Habyarimana emphasised it as part of his concept of “true” Rwandan identity. “True Rwandans” provided free labour for state-led projects like school building, road works, the construction of sanitation facilities and digging of anti-erosion ditches. Unfortunately Habyarimana’s true Rwandans, by extension, also belonged to the Hutu tribe, and Umuganda eventually became caught up in ideas of racial purity.

After taking office in 2000, President Paul Kagame harnessed Umuganda to help clean up his gun and shell-strewn capital, as well as to promote the idea of a cohesive national identity through communal projects. Under Kagame, Umuganda was formalised as a collective event on the last Saturday in each month when traffic – including airport taxis – is stopped for three hours in the morning, and the city comes together to tidy up. This can be problematic if you have a flight to catch. This day is called umunsi w’umuganda (contribution made by the community) and all able-bodied people between the ages of 18 and 65 are required by law to participate. The knock-on effect of such conscientious cleaning up is, of course, that people are less inclined to drop litter in the first place."



"So, if Singapore is proof that cleanliness can be achieved by legislation, Kigali and Dar es Salaam are definitely proof that motivation and communal spirit can work as well. Calgary, on the other hand, falls somewhere between the two. It’s also the least interesting of the three cities to visit – but that’s a whole other list.

Finally one has to ask, does it matter? Last year a Ugandan looking at Kigali told me wistfully that Kampala used to be as pristine as Kigali: “Why can’t we keep our capital clean and tidy anymore?”

So, if you live there I think it matters, very much."
cities  uban  urbanism  rwanda  umuganda  community  civics  responsibility  civicresponsibility  kigali  kampala  uganda  daressalaam  communalism  communalspirit  tanzania  singapore  via:anabjain  cleanliness  litter  calgary  zurich  adelaide  honolulu  minneapolis  kobe  tidiness  china  paulkagame 
june 2015 by robertogreco
▶ Pro Infirmis «Because who is perfect?» - YouTube
"Disabled mannequins will be eliciting astonished looks from passers-by on Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse today. Between the perfect mannequins, there will be figures with scoliosis or brittle bone disease modelling the latest fashions. One will have shortened limbs; the other a malformed spine. The campaign has been devised for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by Pro Infirmis, an organisation for the disabled. Entitled "Because who is perfect? Get closer.", it is designed to provoke reflection on the acceptance of people with disabilities. Director Alain Gsponer has captured the campaign as a short film."
disability  advertising  mannequins  2013  zurich  proinfirmis  bodies  humans  disabilities  body 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Daros Latinamerica - Casa Daros Rio
"Casa Daros es una institución de Daros Latinamerica, una de las más amplias colecciones dedicadas al arte contemporáneo latinoamericano, con sede en Zúrich, Suiza. Daros Latinamerica cuenta con casi 1.200 obras, entre pinturas, fotografías, vídeos, esculturas e instalaciones, de más de 117 artistas, y sigue en expansión.

Casa Daros es un espacio de arte, educación y comunicación, que ocupa un edificio neoclásico del siglo XIX, preservado por el Patrimonio de la ciudad de Río de Janeiro. Proyectado por el arquitecto Francisco Joaquim Bethencourt da Silva (1831-1912), ocupa un terreno de más de 12 mil metros cuadrados, en Botafogo, Río de Janeiro.

El espacio presenta exposiciones de la Colección Daros Latinamerica y está enfocada en arte y educación, a través de diversas actividades para el público. También ofrece una agenda de seminarios y encuentros con artistas en el auditorio, además de la biblioteca especializada en arte latinoamericano contemporáneo, el Espacio de Documentación, el Espacio de Lectura con catálogos de exposiciones de la colección, restaurante/café y tienda.

Lea acerca de las actividades desarrolladas por Casa Daros desde 2007 hasta 2011."
art  brasil  riodejaneiro  casadaros  education  latinamerica  zurich  brazil 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Europe Stifles Drivers in Favor of Mass Transit and Walking - NYTimes.com
"While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars. The methods vary, but the mission is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation."

"“In the United States, there has been much more of a tendency to adapt cities to accommodate driving,” said Peder Jensen, head of the Energy and Transport Group at the European Environment Agency. “Here there has been more movement to make cities more livable for people, to get cities relatively free of cars.”"
us  europe  cities  urban  urbanism  urbanplanning  mobility  cars  walking  publictransit  pedestrians  livability  carfree  carfreecity  2011  london  stockholm  zurich  vienna  sanfrancisco  traffic  priorities  nyc  bikes  biking  sustainability  health  parking 
june 2011 by robertogreco

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