Chamonix Mont Blanc in 3D
Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France
18 Oct 2014 – 29 March 2015
An exhibition of 3D images spanning the past 150 years, documenting the life and times of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc: the dramatic glaciers at the end of the little ice age, the golden age of alpinism, the dawn of mass tourism, the birth of skiing in the Alps, lost professions and even earthquakes.
You have probably seen the blockbuster “Avatar” and considered 3D to be a modern innovation, but can you believe that 150 years ago virtually every middle-class home had a stereoscope with which to view photographs in 3D?
This exhibition relates the fascinating history of stereoscopy and features astonishing 3D images by local Chamonix photographers, Tairraz, Savioz and Couttet, plus illustrious Victorian visitors like Bisson, Braun, England and, more recently, Jacques-Henri Lartigue. A few modern images highlight the dramatic changes to the alpine landscape wrought by tourism, urbanisation and global warming.
Various formats of 3D image are presented with their corresponding stereoscopes: side-by-side (using the London Stereoscopic Company Owl viewer), anaglyph, 3D TV, and the mirror-based Cresswell viewer.
Peter Blair describes his introduction to stereoscopy – “I spotted a bizarre Victorian contraption, in rich mahogany with brass knobs and glass lenses. Intrigued, I peered through the lenses. I was immediately transported to the heart of the Alps; the alpinist in front of me was crossing a gaping crevasse on a rickety ladder, I could sense the abyss, I could see the ice sparkling, I could follow the footprints heading higher. Three of my passions in a single, beautiful box; science, photography and the mountains. I was immediately hooked.”
Come and experience the magic of stereoscopy and immerse yourself in a bygone 3D world. Ascend Mont Blanc with Victorian alpinists, visit the locals in their spartan chalets, admire the ladies in crinolines on the mer de glace, marvel at the immense glaciers, climb Mont Buet with pioneers of skiing in 1905. The wonder and intimacy of stereoscopy will allow you to experience the sights like a Victorian tourist and to appreciate why a visit to Chamonix was de rigueur in the nineteenth century.
Curated by Lucinda Perillat and Peter Blair.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc en 3D, Peter Blair, Editions du Belvedere, ISBN: 978-2884193542, 29€
English version available from firstname.lastname@example.org