The Federal Council, Switzerland’s eight-member cabinet, has unveiled its official 2018 photo, a digitally-inspired backdrop of animated images showcasing various clichés of the alpine nation.
Each year, the Swiss government unveils its official annual photo, and each year (it seems) it attempts to outdo itself in the innovation stakes. From the ‘industry captains’ of 2015 to last years ‘mafia-style’ headshots, the symbolism is often rich.
And for 2018, upon the impetus of new president Alain Berset, the exercise has been given a makeover for the digital age.
Though the ministers are all dressed in sober black and stand a respectful distance from each other, the backdrop is a much more ludic orange-brown collage of moving animationsexternal link depicting various facets of Swiss culture and society.
The famous mountain trio of the Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch loom above the cabinet pocked with emmental-style cheese holes, through which impossibly steep mountain railways come and go; higher up, a humpty-dumpty-like figure perches on a ridge and looks at a fast-turning clock that has replaced the sun; a flying saucer tries (and fails) to beam away the dome at the top of the Federal Palace in Bern.
Designed by artist Michel Cotting and photographer Stéphane Schmutz, the project aims (in their words) “to illustrate artistically the great diversity of small Switzerland.” Does it succeed?
Physical copies of the photo, of which 55,000 have been printed, can be collected at the Federal Palace from January 3.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/dos