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Art at Zurich Airport: “Hannes Schmid – Real Stories”

Zurich Airport will present an artistic display of selected topics from the oeuvre of Hannes Schmid, the photographer of the world-famous “Marlboro cowboys” and will become a satellite of the Museum of Fine Arts in Berne for a period of six weeks.

Right in the middle of passengers making their way to their gate and amidst the hustle and bustle of the Airport Center, Swiss photographer and media artist Hannes Schmid will present two central series that will inspire spectators to look more closely and reflect. Until 24 April 2013, “Real Stories” will be staged at Zurich Airport in all promotional spaces in the public and passenger zones and in additional spectacular installations in the Airport Center atrium as well as on the large windows at the front of the Airside Center. Hannes Schmid’s latest exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Berne is entitled “Real Stories”. Zurich Airport is honoured to present a curated portion of this exhibition.

Hannes Schmid, the photographer, artist and filmmaker, made his name – among other things – with his presentation of the “Marlboro cowboy” in the 1990s.

Experiencing speed at the Airport Center

The Airport Center will present the work “The Final Run”.-.Schmid’s study of Formula 1. Here, he addresses the relationship between man and machine in particular, focusing on the thrill of high speed. Visitors can view floating and extremely slow-motion projections. The picture sequences can first be viewed individually. Seen from a particular angle, however, they produce a whole picture. The observer must move in front of the projection and take time to recognise what is being shown in front of his eyes. Still and moving pictures alternate, and new viewpoints merge as if by chance.

At Zurich Airport, the topic of speed takes on a special importance. A place that is constantly on the move but that never stands still, even in the waiting zones.

The Airside Center as a place for cultural ritual

The series “For Gods Only” will be shown in the passenger zone. It tells the story of ritual street opera in Singapore. A performance of music and dance to honour the gods who are invisible but present. An installation of almost 200 red chairs at the Airside Center symbolises the performance location and the ritual opera. The street opera will come to life on a 350 square-metre screen on the front window of the Airside Center.

The window, which provides a view of Zurich Airport’s runways that connect Zurich with countries around the world, thus symbolises the global exchange of culture in particular.

The last street opera performance took place in 2007. Thanks to Hannes Schmid’s work, this ephemeral art form will not be forgotten. UNESCO Switzerland was also prompted to include the series on its list of cultural assets.

“Real Stories” can be experienced in other places besides the promotional areas, though. Along the galleries, visitors can view Hannes Schmid’s art throughout the airport.

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