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Photo books

Salvatore Vitale

Salvatore Vitale, How to Secure a Country
Lars Müller Publishers, Zurich, 2019

ISBN 978-3-03778-597-3

This book is the result of Salvatore Vitale’s lengthy research into a key dimension of Swiss identity: an aspiration for security that sometimes borders on fantasy. His investigation took him to familiar places, such as military training camps, as well as more confidential ones, such as research laboratories. A wide range of disciplines — from armed defence to meteorology — collectively shape the contours of what is both a political and social issue, a state apparatus and a multi-billion dollar industry. The desire for anticipation and an obsession with control hovers over each of the images. Their aesthetics — cold tones, hard light, sharpness and rigorous geometry — serve a documentary purpose. And yet, by affecting the administrative detachment from security processes, these images also instil a dull anxiety, a certain unease about devices that are supposed to protect us. Danaé Panchaud