In search of Switzerland: Igor Ponti explores the Confoederatio Helvetica. The Swiss cross comes to mind, the Swiss army knife, the Alps, cheese of course, or perhaps fine chocolate: but just what is typically Swiss? What characterizes the country and its people, and connects the various regions despite their different languages? These questions led Swiss photographer Igor Ponti (*1981), who focuses on traditional and emerging identities, on a cross-canton journey—with the odd detour. He discovers expressive visual Helvetisisms and, in part in a mocking or affectionate way, points out distinctions between the cantons that nevertheless connect them in terms of culture and territory: freeways cut through picturesque landscapes, a massively carved William Tell stands by the wayside, wurst stands sell cervelat or fried sausage, a charming, old wooden house causes one to feel nostalgic, garden gnomes wear red and white, concrete antitank barriers protect the endangered idyll.
Igor Ponti (born in 1981) lives in Lugano, Switzerland; in 2013, he obtained support from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, whose aim was to promote new talents in the field of photography. His images have been part of both personal and private exhibitions.
Hatje Cantz publishes art, photography, design, and architecture books with a focus on contemporary art.