Sophie NysDivided we stand, together we fall
Produced by Belgian artist Sophie Nys during her time in Zurich, this book presents a collection of photographs showing each of the modernist fountains produced by designer Alfred Aebersold in the 1970s and scattered throughout the Swiss city. The images are accompanied by funny and subtle captions written by the Scottish-born, Zurich-based artist Leila Peacock.
“In 1973 Alfred Aebersold won the competition organised by the Zurich Water Supply Department to design a fountain. It was to be the visible part of a large, secure and independent system that today includes more than 80 identical fountains distributed throughout the city. The context was the Cold War. The invisible but permanent threat was that of contamination of the public water supply system by an outside agent. The work of Aebersold, who trained as an interior architect and founded the Gruppe 3 studio with Jörg Hamburger and Herbert Merz in 1961, was representative of Swiss design in the language of Max Bill. Designed in the 1970s, but with its formal vocabulary reminiscent of a modernist sculptural language, stable and reassuring in its organic and solid forms, this fountain presents itself as a historical paradox. But it also presents itself as a visual symptom, inscribed in the public space, of a need for continuous defence. The context changes but the threat persists. And the fountain, masking in the functionality of its entrails its raison d’être – according to a Duchampian modus operandi, masking and deferring the meaning that one might assign to the forms – perpetually spouts the purity of its liquid.”
- Sophie Nys
- SIC Brussels
- Language French
- Format24 x 17 cm