Unguided Road Trip

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Swiss photographer Roland Iselin, born 1958, graduated from the famous photography class at the School of Design in Zurich (today Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK) and also completed a Master's degree at New York's School of Visual Arts. Prior to his artistic education, he completed his studies in socio-cultural animation at Zurich-based Institute of Applied Psychology. Unguided Road Trip is Iselin's latest long-term project. Since 2011, he has been travelling his native Switzerland and his adopted second home country, the US, documenting how in either place the landscape is 'furnished' with all sorts of structures and objects. Bus stops, public toilets, gas stations. We recognise such things and make use of the convenience they offer, yet we forget about them again immediately. In small and densely populated Switzerland, the landscape is cluttered with objects that serve a specific purpose: phone and letterboxes, benches, signposts, wayside crosses. But equally, the vast and scarcely inhabited open landscapes in the US are cut-across by roads lined by mass-produced objects.Iselin has found many motifs common in both countries: memorials for victims of road accidents, cattle gates, rifle ranges with their pavilions, rest stops. A landscape's 'furniture' does not accumulate accidentally. Rather, each object is placed intentionally, and they testify, in a way, to a society's state. Iselin's images demonstrate values and ideals, showing how the design of these objects guides our behaviour. This new book brings together some 140 photographs from Iselin's Unguided Road Trip, for the first time. The images are complemented with texts by writer and photography critic Nadine Olonetzky.

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Scheidegger und Spiess AG, Verlag
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