The Switzerland of America (2010) challenges the notion of a true visual representation of a place. The collection of images that makes the project was taken in the state of New Jersey.
The name “The Switzerland of America” was given to the state of New Jersey by the first Dutch settlers because of the large cliffs that line a portion of the Hudson River. New Jersey is no longer known to be the Switzerland of America and that nickname now belongs to the state of Colorado for its mountainous terrain. The term “Switzerland of…” is commonly used to represent the natural, cultural, economic or political similarities to Switzerland, known for its unblemished reputation in each of these categories. “The Switzerland of …” appears to exist in every continent around the world. By titling the project The Switzerland of America we aim to emphasize the absurdity of an objective representation of a place.
The Switzerland of America proposes a question of what makes a place “the place”. By consciously not including any visual landmarks or street signs that could help distinguish the location, we highlight the ambiguity of the imagery thus suggesting that the photographs could have been taken in any state. If a perceptive viewer was to look for any clues suggesting the location, the hints provided in the project could help identify the location yet still question its certainty.
IPG is an experimental collaborative project of photographers Yoshi and Tamara Kametani. IPG was born in 2010 and currently lives in New Jersey.
View the complete series on their website
☞ IPG Project