A Pass into the past

incarnating the col du Saint Gothard

Gabriel Gee & Anne-Laure Franchette, TETI Group

Traffic at the Saint Gotthard pass rose dramatically in the late Middle Ages. The route soon became a bustling and strategic nexus between northern and southern Switzerland, and beyond from the Mediterranean to the North Sea. Trade flourished along the newfound path, if tortuous and dangerous prior to the opening of the railway line in 1882. In the twentieth century, tunnels and galleries have further increased the flow of goods along the axis. To consider the resonance of commerce at the pass, edible will be proposed to the participants during the Saturday walk. Through the eating of historical recipes and products, we hope to bodily connect with the cultural histories of the St Gotthard, to physically travel into the past, listening to distant voices, culminating in a re-enactment of past economic and social heritage that keeps on informing the present.

Gabriel N. Gee holds a PhD in contemporary art history from the Université Paris 10 Nanterre. His doctoral research focused on aesthetics and politics in the North of England from the 1980s onwards. His book Art in the North of England. 1979-2008 was published by Ashgate (now Routledge) in 2017. He joined Franklin in 2011, where he teaches contemporary art history and theory. His research interests include the arts of port cities, interconnected global histories, and contemporary artistic research. He recently edited with Caroline Wiedmer a volume on Maritime Poetics. From Coast to Hinterland (Transcript 2021). He is the initiator and co-founder of the interdisciplinary study group TETI, (Textures and Experiences of Trans-Industriality), active through workshops, exhibitions, culinary events, and through a press, which recently published Mobile Soils a collection of essays looking at territorial transformations.
Anne-Laure Franchette is an artist based in Zurich. After studying Fine Arts (MFA Zhdk Zurich, CH) and Art History (DEA Paris 10, FR), she currently works as research assistant at Luzern University. Her work focuses on labor, hierarchies of dignity, strategies of self organisation and representation. She is part of the interdisciplinary study group TETI (textures and experiences of trans-industriality), whose activities involves workshops, exhibitions, talks, walks, cooking and publications. In 2013 she initiated both the Zurich Art Space Guide, a listing of artist run spaces, and VOLUMES, an organisation researching and showcasing art publishing practices.