Switzerland, the Mountains and the Swiss Alpine Club. An Exhibition
20 April 2013 to 30 March 2014
Switzerland without the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) is as inconceivable as Switzerland without mountains. The Swiss Alpine Club has shaped and influenced Switzerland over the past 150 years. It has been a sports club, a language club, a cultural club, a political club and a nature clube, all in one. And still is today. More than ever.
The exhibition «Helvetia Club» at the Swiss Alpine Museum look back, 150 years after the foundation of the SAC, over the club’s rich past, and forwards, from the present to the future. The building at Helvetiaplatz 4 is being transformed into a history-laden mountain chalet, right in the centre of town. The exhibition – in the recreation room, kitchen and sleeping quarters of that chalet – tells tales of sensations on the summit and descents into the valley, of cameraderie and conflicts, of women’s issues and environmental concerns. The climb up to this mountain hut is not steep, for a change, but the panorma is all the more surprising.
Mountaineering in the Media Age
25 April 2014 to 26 July 2015
Mountaineering is communication. It fascinates people because of its stories – stories that are covered in the media and which captivate the public. And the mountaineers themselves are not silent; they actively co-direct how mountaineering is reported on. They write books, take photographs, make films, hold lectures, and take a stand in blogs, interviews and on Twitter. The exhibition “Himalaya Report” shows how this media trend all began and how it has developed until today.
Doctor and mountaineer Jules Jacot Guillarmod from Neuchâtel took the first photograph of K2 in 1902. Back in Switzerland, he held lectures and published accounts of his travels. His eccentric mountaineering partner Aleister Crowley provided his very own version of events when he published the “Confessions” years later. “Himalaya Report” follows the historical trail of media coverage of mountaineers across the 20th century, highlighting examples such as Günter Oskar Dyhrenfurth and his documentary and film project of Kangchenjunga (1930/34), the Swiss Everest expeditions and their national media response (1952/56), and Reinhold Messner’s numerous books and his roles as extreme mountaineer, author, and cultural entrepreneur. And finally, the generation of alpinists in our multimedia world of today: Top mountaineers Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, David Lama, Ueli Steck and Stephan Siegrist talk about the balancing act between reporting and being reported on. The museum visitors have the final say. The topic will be covered in even greater detail in the accompanying events (a follow-on program is scheduled for October 2014).
In collaboration with the Museum d’histoire naturelle in Neuchatel and the Association Jules Jacot Guillarmod.
The book to the exhibition:
Charlie Buffet: Jules Jacot Guillarmod – Pionier am K2. Entdecker und Fotograf im Himalaya,
Published by AS Verlag Zurich, pp. 160, 200 illustrations.