Simone Kappeler: America 1981
Simone Kappeler, Peter Pfrunder (text)
Codax Publisher & Scheidegger & Spiess, 2020
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the youth of Zurich were rebellious. An entire generation of students sought fervently for the new. Simone Kappeler was one of them, and in 1981 she left her native Switzerland, setting off on a road trip across America. She took with her a 35 mm Hasselblad, as well as a Polaroid. Over the course of the journey, she would add a multitude of cheap cameras to this collection that enabled snapshot-like images—taken un-selfconsciously whenever a motif struck her. The resulting images reflect a direct and unrestrained manner, telling of immediate sensual experience and the longing for freedom and independence.
Decades later, Kappeler has revisited the vast collection that resulted from her undertaking, and the result is this striking volume. Both the selection of images and their composition in the book reveal a consistent artistic perspective and a signature style. Through these photographs, we simultaneously see the development of an artist and a lost era of American life.