/HAGNECK 2011 – 2015

The Energiewende (energy transition) – the buzzword of the moment – presents a great challenge. How will humanity meet its energy demands in the future? With the Fukushima disaster and the renewable energy debate in mind, Marcel Rickli conceived his project: documenting the development of the Hagneck hydroelectric power plant on Lake Biel over the course of more than four years, the entire construction period. This hydropower series falls in line with a number of Rickli’s other artistic field studies that embody a set of existential problems: What kinds of effort are necessary to come closer to the goal of an energy transition?
Rickli’s work dealing with Hagneck is a captivating chamber play comprising forms, rhythms, and materials. The geometric surfaces, abstract landscapes, and austere, utilitarian architecture capture the imagination. In the end, simplicity is what remains: an essence in black and white resulting from a rigorous mastery of perspective and image. At the same time, Rickli’s allusions to the New Objectivity credo of Albert Renger-Patzsch transcend this, conveying something profound. It is the search for a lost purity. The photography restores it as an aesthetic experience, a kind of magic.


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