005 Affaire TobleroneA couple of months before the winter time we went to Zermatt, the only spot in Europe where you can find snow almost all year long. The Swiss town itself is sort of a perfect ‘mise en scène’. Right after we landed, our presence there unsettled me, I felt exactly like Simon Pegg in Hot Fuzz.
The cable cars were filled with young professional skiers training for World championships and tourists photographing the exact moment in which the peak of the Matterhorn mountain on the Toblerone box overlaps the real one.
In this instance I thought of Mohan Sahlin, a member of the Swedish democratic party, who in 1995 was forced to resign after paying—among other things— a Toblerone bar with her government credit card. She immediately returned the money, preventing any judges from taking legal actions but the ‘Affaire Toblerone’ had unravelled: in Sweden a moral mistake is taken as seriously as breaking the law.
Both of these ‘affairs’ have an interesting relationship with transparency. In the case of the tourists, the success of their collage relies in the confidence their friends back home place on the opacity of the overlapping layer. On the other hand, the Swedish placed ethics above justice and upon discovering a discrepancy in Mona’s actions they stopped trusting her. In both cases, faith in the invisible becomes crucial.
This photo essay is about what we see through what we see and the boundaries between the backdrop and the real. What is established as cozy? What percentage of a first impression can we trust in order to feel at ease in a place? Where are the limits between the mirror and the window?
A personal thought, in this perfect town, do Swiss ever imagine being jumped by a gang of grannies with machine guns waiting for them around the corner?