Friday, 13 December 2013

HR Giger in Basel - March 2007

On Friday, 16th of March 2007 and only three days after my birthday, I embarked on what was my next expedition into Gigerland and consequently, I considered this trip to be a personal celebratory treat.

Little did I know however, whilst best trying to find comfort in the restrictive space allowed by an Easyjet flight’s seat from Liverpool to Basel, that events which were to follow would culminate in treats so far unimagined.

I arrived in Basel on the Friday evening and soon, once more found myself as being the beneficiary of Switzerland’s public transport efficiency.
I departed the shuttle bus from the airport at Basel’s railway station which was only a very short walk away from the hotel I had chosen for my two nights’ stay in this Swiss city.

This exhibition of HR Giger’s work that I had travelled to attend, was being held at the privately owned Galerie Hilt under the title of ‘Spaces’.

Galerie Hilt was first opened by its founder, Balz Hilt, in 1955 on Aeschenvorstadt 43, Basel.
1990 saw the opening of Galerie Hilt at its current location of Freie Strasse 88 and in 1993, Christian Ragni joined the gallery’s employment.
Ten years prior to my visit to Galerie Hilt, HR Giger’s work had been exhibited at Hilt by Christian Ragni, in 1997, under the title of ‘Projects’.

Ten years on from that date and HR Giger’s work was being exhibited again by Christian Ragni, under the title of ‘Spaces’.
This exhibition featured the commercial sale of HR Giger’s sculptures, portfolios, limited edition prints, Artist’s edition prints, digital lithographs and original drawings.

In the late morning of Saturday, 17th of March, I embarked on the walk from my hotel to discover the exact location of Galerie Hilt.

My hope was to gain access to the exhibition floor space inside the gallery so as to photograph the works on display of HR Giger prior to the arrival of the attending crowd of that day.
However, some initial issues of communication and understanding existed and it took the sanction of an explanatory phone call from Carmen Giger to pave the way of passage for my camera and I to enter the areas of exhibition.

Once my access was allowed to HR Giger’s exhibition, I was left with only a limited amount of time to cover the artworks on display before the doors of Galerie Hilt were held open to the visiting public of that day.

Then being the only person at that time with official permission to photograph, I made my tour as quickly but efficiently as I possibly could within the exhibition of ‘Spaces’.

I first used a roll of 35mm Ilford Black & White film, followed by coverage with 35mm Fuji Colour film to capture what I could with my hand held Canon EOS.

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