We are going through a period of upheaval due to a succession of political, social, economic and climatic crises. In the complexity of analyzing and understanding these profound planetary transformations, the Covid health crisis has added a layer of uncertainty and doubt to the general feeling that we no longer have control over the future or our environment. In Switzerland as elsewhere, the population in search of landmarks expresses a strong need for reconnection with nature at the same time as the need for new energies is felt.
Séverin Guelpa, september 2021
Tremblement/Trembling/Erschütterung is a project by Séverin Guelpa that began in 2020. With Covid causing the cancellation of most exhibitions in Switzerland, the artist and architects Kunik de Morsier. set out on the roads of Switzerland to discover sites – natural, built or symbolic – which they see as embodying today’s major upheavals. From a disputed deep geothermal project in the Jura region to the Valais penstock that supplies the country with energy, from a shooting range in Zurich where the SVP celebrates its annual rally to a village threatened with evacuation in the Grisons region, these are all situations that, in their own way, question the growing role of risk and unpredictability in today’s world.
In 2022, Séverin Guelpa directed De profundis terrae, filming the bowels of the earth at various sites in Switzerland, including the ETH scientific laboratory in Ticino, the drilling of the second Gotthard tube at Goeschenen and abandoned mines in the Alps.
The next stages of Tremblement will focus on hydraulic infrastructures and glaciers, which the artist will film from the inside alongside speleologists. In the spring of 2024, the final part of the project will focus on the village of Brienz in the Graubunden Alps, which was evacuated in 2023 when a section of the mountain overlooking the village collapsed.
For Tremblement/Erschütterung, Séverin Guelpa has enlisted the help of experts and drawn inspiration from scientific field and laboratory tests to explore the boundaries between a nature we think we have under control and the place we are capable of giving to doubt and unpredictability.