A  L  P   M  A  G  I  C




The alpine economy is not merely a part of alpine cultural history and the image of the cow is and remains a symbol of Swiss identity way beyond its economic significance. Our memories connect to deep-rooted myths and magic within us even though we may be living in cities and suburbs that are very remote from the hard, quiet and deep rhythms of the daily life of the alpine dweller or herdsman.

The ways of life of the alpine dweller or herdsman who lives at the edge of an inhospitable nature and manages to glean profits from it, hint at a century-old quest that has nourished us on many levels. These ways of life have tapped new resources, established myths and experienced magic. They’ve been the basis for awareness and knowledge which have refreshed our souls and conveyed us our individuality. The alpine world attracts us with its potential for sports, relaxation and meditation.

Since my youth I have been preoccupied with more than agronomy, forestry and our interactions with farmland and farm animals. A connection to the earth, traditional wisdom, national pride and love and rustic craftsmanship all around the world have fascinated me. The familiar scents of animals, their heavy breath, the steaming heat of their bodies in the barns and fields and the sounds of the herd’s bells are deeply engrained.

This series of work is now completed, even though new images continue to emerge. I don’t really care if it is considered “outsider art,” “art brut” or simply junk. In the end, just about anything can be burned. I am adding descriptions of the images in order to make some of my ideas more accessible to my descendants, particularly the unborn ones. Maybe they and the other viewers will recognize that the scope of my impressions and their sculptural translation go beyond a mere personal sense of imagination. Maybe they will see that collective contents are broached that are timeless and important for our interior lives as people living at the edge of civilization, within the nation and within humanity. And maybe they will see that I have expressed what impressed me. And maybe they will understand that I have attempted to follow my roots downwards and to stick my antennas upwards. 

The bond to Al Imfeld’s story world has grown steadily throughout our long-lasting friendship. As a descendant of Zurich’s country clergy I cannot quite grasp Al’s catholic popular beliefs, though they do pleasantly complement his narrations. His elementary powers stem from his generation-old farmer background. Thanks to his spirituality, his cosmopolitan experiences and his local connectedness, his spiritual world and mine often overlap and often complement each other in a somewhat eccentric way.

Ueli Dubs



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