Roger Eberhard

Escapism

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Escapism

In Switzerland coffee is served with a little cup of cream whose aluminum lid features a miniature picture, making it the smallest image carrier in the country. From picturesque Switzerland to foreign and exotic places, for the past 50 years these lids reproduced the world many times over. Thanks to their massive distribution throughout Switzerland, these miniatures helped shaping the visual and often stereotypical understanding of the world long before social media did. During several decades these illustrated lids were heavily collected, with people buying them at flea markets, in stores and at dedicated fairs for up to thousands of francs. 

Images of exotic beaches, majestic icebergs or vast untouched deserts incite a feeling of Wanderlust – especially in a small landlocked country like Switzerland. They are inviting the viewers to escape the concerns of their daily lives while drinking a cup of coffee. While the overly romantic landscape pictures on the lids evoke a sense of Fernweh, their archetypical aesthetics seem like a requiem for the planet’s ecosystem, exemplarily showing what’s at stake if its demise can’t be stopped. All photographs in Escapism are extreme close-ups of these lids’ imagery.The photographs’ visible cmyk printing pattern, which originates from enlarging the lids roughly 100 times, draws attention to the original production technique and invites for a close examination of the source material and to reflect on its ambiguity.