Diploma project, ECAL 2012


by Julien Mercier

After discovering the existence of a replica of the village of Interlaken in China, I decided to go on site to document a phenomenon: the copy of Swiss (and extensively occidental) culture. Located in the middle of the mountains, one premise appeared: every single detail there was to see, from the Alphorn statues to the pigeons were the results of an intelligent, total design. In parallel, I decided to talk about the copy and this village immersively, adopting some similar processes and using Chinese means of production.

A font was produced, hand copied by a Chinese copy artist, before being redigitsed, in order to obtain the copy of a classic Swiss font, whose shapes were renewed by this particular creative process.

It finally takes the form of a book as well as an installation, showing the original outputs and documenting the whole process, many of which having involved a third party. Every one of these constitutive elements and the reason for their presence have a lot to do with the way they were produced. Copies, enriched by the justification of their own existence and by a new cultural context. Just like the village of Interlaken, in China.

Julien Mercier