"Longing for Buenos Aires"

Thursday, Apr. 2 - Thursday, Apr. 30 

Gelatin silver prints, 11x14inches, edition of 3, 4, or 5, with Erwin Staeheli's signature the edition notations

Copyright (c) Erwin Staeheli All Rights Reserved

I have never been in Buenos Aires

But I once found a trunk in a ruined farmhouse in Tuscany with the label "Buenos Aires" on it. Has this luggage been in Argentina? And why was it sent back to Italy? There was a peaceful atmosphere inside the abandoned farmhouse. Sunbeams entered through holes in the roof and put patterns of light all over the place. It was very quiet.

I remembered my grandfather's emigration to Argentina. It must have been around the year 1920 when young people in Europe couldn't find a job because of the hopeless economical situation. My grandfather's idea was to plant acacia-trees in South-America to produce tool-handles. Being a farmer's son he knew about agriculture. Unfortunately all the money to start his business got stolen when he was looking for land in Argentina. He experienced even more crime and violence and decided to go back to Switzerland.

My grandfather crossed twice the Atlantic. He shoveled coal into the boiler of the transoceanic-steamer all the way to Argentina and back again. Because those workers were not allowed on deck my grandfather has never seen the sea, I was told.

In our family one didn't talk a lot about my grandfather's emigration. The story was somehow embarrassing. My grandfather wouldn't talk about it at all. But I remember a worn-out Spanish dictionary that had always been laying on his writing-table. And I remember him planting acacia-trees in his garden in Switzerland. A very prickly variety of acacia it was.

I've got the idea to put together series of photographs of empty rooms: Places where once things have happened that finally came to an end; places where one stands still for a while to enjoy a rare moment of silence and peace.

The photographs are taken in France, Italy, Switzerland and Czech Republic.

Copyright (c) Erwin Staeheli All Rights Reserved


Gallery TOSEI & TOSEI publishing Co.,Ltd  tel: +81 (03) 3-3380-7123 fax: +81 (03)3- 3380-7121 e-mail:gallery@tosei-sha.j