Exhibition: Close Up
at National Museum Zurich (Landesmuseum Zurich)
Praesens-Film AG is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2024. Switzerland’s oldest surviving film company has an eventful past that has taken it all the way to Hollywood. Founded by Jewish immigrant Lazar Wechsler, the company notched up its greatest successes from the 1930s to the mid-1950s, producing some of the classics of Swiss film history. Praesens-Film was behind motion pictures ranging from Füsilier Wipf, Gilberte de Courgenay and Heidi, as well as the international award-winning Marie-Louise and The Last Chance.
The exhibition shines a spotlight on the people who wrote Swiss film history, in front of and behind the camera. It tells anecdotes from the making of the films and shows the extent to which the silver screen has always reflected the zeitgeist: From the dawn of the film industry with its early advertising and commissioned productions, to the successful feature films of the war years characterised by spiritual national defence and humanitarian tradition, to idealised notions of homeland in the post-war era.
Landesmuseum Zürich: 2023
Curation: Aaron Estermann and Rahel Grunder
Scenography: Rappaport Szenographie Architektur Gmbh, Christa Held, Alain Rappaport
Exhibition Design: Vieceli & Cremers
Project Management: Henrike Binder
Photography: © Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum