In 2008, I spent a month as a scholar at the Crowsnest Pass campus of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. Close to my studio I discovered “The Frank Slide”. Around the village of Frank, the vast valley of Crowsnest Pass is covered by huge blocks of stone in all its breadth; the force that has moved this mass is hard to imagine. I walked around in the detritus of the landslide and took photographs. Collage turned out to be a very appropriate medium to “make movement conceivable”, as Germaine Richier stated, because in the collage fixed arrangements can be dismantled and rearranged.
The collages had no planned final size, they were not filled into a specific format, but grew freely in all directions and could be cut and recut, so that bigger and smaller pieces emerged. Rough-cut image parts, assembled into small image formats, lead to a very different character than finely chopped transitions in large formats. The smallest collage now measures 5″x7″, the largest about 35″x50″.
The name of the landslide, the FRANK SLIDE, pursued me. Again and again, I found myself thinking of Frank as a person who had prepared a slide show. The title of the work came from this and in turn gave me the idea of how the collages of different dimensions could be brought into one format. I photographed them on slide film, so now there is a series of 91 slides called “The Frank Slide Show”. Some of them are also photographed digitally and printed for exhibitions.
Markus Schwander, born 1960, was trained as an artist in the academies of art and design of Lucerne and Basel, Switzerland. He has exhibited his work since 1988 in various places in Switzerland and Europe.
The collages of “The Frank Slide Show” came into being in a period of about four years between 2008 and 2012. In the years before, Schwander had used assemblage techniques in sculpture and, at the moment, he is still working on collages concerning the landslide of Flims in Switzerland.
Markus Schwander lives in Basel, Switzerland.