24 Hours in the Life of a Swiss Cuckoo Clock
May 27th through August 2nd, 2015.
The clockwork and décor of the cuckoo clocks have always been emblematic of the precise, meticulous work associated with the image of Swiss savoirfaire. Originally, cuckoo clocks evoked the delightful simplicity of an idealized agrarian way of life in an Alpine setting, safe from the vicissitudes of progress. A Swiss emblem, it’s not by chance that Harry Lime, played by Orson Welles in The Third Man, refers to the cuckoo clock when he critically comments: “Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” Today, in a world governed by efficiency and subject to the laws of the market, and in a society in which design is on an equal footing with art, what remains of the Swiss cuckoo clock?
The clockwork and décor of the Swiss cuckoo clocks has always been emblematic to the image of Swiss know how and meticulous work. Originally, these small clocks evoked the delightful simplicity of an idealized agrarian life set in an alpine and preserved landscape. Is the Swiss cuckoo clock still this iconic object meant for folklore and tourists only? Definitely not if we consider the 24 cuckoos created by design BA & MA HEAD – Genève students and faculty!
Claudio Colucci , who led the student’s work, put them to the challenge of reinventing the cuckoo clock in a contemporary way while retaining the main quality of the traditional cuckoo : tell a story while marking the hours with their song.
24 hours in the life of a Swiss cuckoo clock, an exhibition curated by Alexandra Midal, operates an Overseas migration to present 18 student cuckoos and 6 cuckoo projects by designers and HEAD – Genève faculty: Matali Crasset, Nitzan Cohen, James Auger, Camille Scherrer, Marco Borraccino and Claudio Colucci.