Thomas Flechtner

Germs #10, 2010

C-print, 175 x 225 cm
Collection Fotomuseum Winterthur, with support of the Federal Council of Culture Switzerland
Inv. no. 2011-021-003
© Thomas Flechtner / 2007 Pro Litteris, Zürich

Thomas Flechtner
b. 1961 (Winterthur, CH), lives and works in Zurich, CH and Creuse, FR

Thomas Flechtner’s photographs of Le Corbusier’s buildings in Chandigarh, India, have been shown in many museums and galleries. They are remarkable for their distinctive use of colour that make us take a second look at this city, one from which we gain a new visual understanding of the contrast between European modernism and an Indian, eastern lifestyle. Flechtner’s latest photographs, including his pictures of the snow-clad Swiss town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, follow on from this series and create mysterious nocturnal landscapes. At the opening of Flechtner’s exhibition at the Coalmine Fotogalerie in Winterthur, Nadine Olonetzky said: “Fir trees standing in front of a high-rise estate. ‘Coated in icing sugar,’ thinks the woman. Behind them the lights of the estate, yellow, red, flickering bluish-white. By day, the buildings are sharp-edged glass cubes with concrete cores. People live there behind net curtains. By night they are colourfully illuminated ice-cubes. People can go in and out, entering the ice-cubes through glass entrance doors. … At the back there is a petrol station, radiantly white. At the front a heap of snow blocking the entrance to a row of garages. All the same: all in a straight line – view, detail, angle. The camera sees the brightness in winter. ... Snowy night after snowy night the excess snowfall is carried out of town on trucks and dumped in huge piles. The surfaces of the piles of snow on the outskirts of town are rough and irregular, pressed into chunks, no longer white as whipped cream. The road that leads there is lit by a cold light and deep in the background of the picture we see the trucks, with the piles of snow heaped up to the left in the foreground.”