Switzerland as paradise is a projection surface for longings. Pictures which go back to the 18th century, when the first tourists thought they were discovering the Garden of Eden in Switzerland, have been reproduced and cited up until today. These identity-shaping motifs, which take on increased significance particularly in times of crisis, are especially widespread in the mass medium of the poster. Mountains, cows and traditional costume stand for typical Swiss values such as naturalness, tradition and quality. The same motifs can communicate different messages—they appear timeless but reality sometimes reveals them in a different light. The poster exhibition examines the myth of Switzerland and brings together distinctive examples of advertising from 1900 until today into a visual dialogue. This shows how the pictorial worlds appear in advertising as facets of Swissness and shape the image of Switzerland, but also how they can be impaired but nevertheless continue to be of service.
Paradise Switzerland, “Poster Collection” 21, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (Ed.), G/E, Lars Müller Publishers