Sham Chalets

The Camouflaged Bunkers of Switzerland
Photographed by Christian Schwager

18.08.2004 - 02.01.2005
Tue-Sun 10am-5pm,
Wen 10am-8pm
Galerie, Ausstellungsstr. 60

Imagine entire houses, barns and sheds built only to deceive. From 1941 right through to the end of the Cold War, hundreds of fake buildings we rebuilt throughout Switzerland, by order of the Swiss Army. At first glance these structures look like nothing other than what they mimic: a simple barn or home. In fact, they were functioning military facilities - command centers , depots, etc. The Swiss photographer Christian Schwager has taken a fresh look at these artful deceivers. His work reveals the considerable craft and skill that we re lavished on these buildings to make them fit into their surroundings. The images are a fascinating mirror of generic Swiss architectural styles, as seen through the eyes of the army. Today, these phony farm houses, etc. have an unintended humor all their own. The exhibition is a co-production with the Museum Bellpark Kriens, Switzerland, where it will run from 1 May to 11 July 2004.


Falsche Chalets, Edition Patrick Frey, Zurich, 2004.