Photo research 'Alptransit'
Visual pull into the mountain
In 'Alptransit' the photographer Milo Keller, trained at the Ecole cantonale d'art in Lausanne, plumbs the depths of the tunnel construction issue. The photo series shows the construction work of the Alptransit. This work is a lot more than mere documentation. It shows the great fascination for the clash of the archaic mountain with the most modern high tech. Warm and cold colours are contrasted so effectively, it seems as if the photographer is staging a light installation in the manner of American light artist James Turrell. Many photos seem driven by a strong will to aestheticise and appear as abstract compositions of coloured light. At the same time they appear as over-sized still lives strangely detached from reality. Looking through the photographs, which have been assembled in a book, a powerful pull that leads from the tunnel portal into the inside of the mountain is created. The effective dramaturgy is reminiscent of movie dramaturgy. Usually, he photographs smaller objects, says the photographer, but for once he became interested in the huge dimensions of the tunnels, silos and machines. At first, he was completely fascinated by the gigantism of the construction of the longest train tunnel worldwide: man against nature, machine against rock. The will to overcome the technical traffic problem as a kind of techno-romance. In a second phase Milo Keller photographed the miners and engineers. Immersed in fluorescent light they are shown in their underground recreation areas. 'Alptransit' skilfully oscillates between documentation and the subjective eye of the photographer. Rarely has someone captured real construction sites so depressingly, have they dramaturgically so skilfully rhythmicised the pull into the mountain and orchestrated colours and compositions so harmoniously.
designer HES, communication visuelle, spécialisation photographie