THE 25 open-air “Mirror” terminals dotting the Greater Geneva landscape until 30 June show the city and its environs from intriguing, multi-faceted perspectives and invite us to ponder the bigger issues of borders and urbanism and their effect on our communities. They’re also ‘heaven sent’ for photographers wanting to capture the city from a fresh point of view.
Greater Geneva as the perfect urban specimen
In the year 2020, two thirds of humanity will be city dwellers, up from one third in 1950. Greater Geneva, in its role as an international, world-class city and a hub for citizens who cross many borders to live and work here is a laboratory for the study of urban development.
So believe the students and staff members of the six top schools comprising the Haute Ecole Spécialisée de Suisse Occidentale (the University of Applied Sciences, Western Switzerland) or HES-SO. They have collaborated for months to mount an ambitious programme of events entitled L’Evénement HES/Frontières et Urbanité focusing on borders and urbanism that runs until 30 June and includes masterclasses, concerts, conferences and outdoor exhibitions. Many events are open to the public, some of which require prior registration.
Mirrors invite reflection on the limits of “our” territory
The most eye catching of these events must be the “Miroir” open-air exhibition featuring 25 mirror terminals — six metres high, covered with polished metal, featuring inscriptions and some with an audio and/or visual presentation — placed in communities along the lake from Nyon to Thonon-les-Bains. Downtown Geneva features 17 terminals placed at intervals between the Jet d’Eau and Jonction.
The mirrors are intended to provoke thought about the boundaries we face in everyday life, as well as the physical boundaries we create between spaces. And to see both of these boundaries in a way that’s familiar but also new and unexpected.
A opportunity for photographers
The students responsible for creating the terminals want passersby to use three perspectives when viewing the mirrors:
- … every moment reflects new changes, the landscape is revealed and the city is renewed without limit;
- … an image, a sound or a film featured on some mirrors evokes a cultural border, natural or temporal, real or abstract;
- … a short text inscribed on every mirror illuminates some of the boundaries facing students from each of the schools participating in the project.
Last and certainly not least, the terminals provide photographers with a wonderful opportunity to portray the city in new, creative and curious ways, some of which you can see here:
Main photo caption: The Ile Rousseau mirror “terminal”, one of 25 in Greater Geneva presents the city in a refreshing new light.
All photos by Creative Living Geneva.