Unexpected snow in Bern in an innovative exhibition

Unexpected snow in Bern in an innovative exhibition

From 4 March to 1 July 2022 an exhibition by the Swiss National Library on the history of the candid meteor between science, poetry and art

View of the exhibition 'Snow. The White Miracle' of the Swiss National Library (Photo: Simon Schmid/NL)
View of the exhibition 'Snow. The White Miracle' of the Swiss National Library (Photo: Simon Schmid/NL)

From 4 March to 2022 July XNUMX, the Swiss National Library hosts “Snow. The White Miracle".
The exhibition traces the history of snow between science, poetry and art, taking us on a playful journey into the past, present and future of this magnificent atmospheric phenomenon.
Structured around the thematic areas "Poetry", "Game", "Research" and "Dissolution", it also includes a station where you can listen to songs on the snow and interactive spaces.
The public will be able to deal with the theme from different points of view and reflect on the risk that snow may disappear as a result of climate change and the melting of glaciers.

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No one ever stays cold in front of the schnee

Nobody stays… cold in front of the snow. Everything slows down when it falls like a blanket, muffling every noise. On the ski slopes it challenges us, while hiking in the mountains it makes the landscapes enchanting. It awakens sensations and memories.
But does it take real snow to witness the white miracle? About half of the ski slopes in Switzerland are currently covered with artificial snow: with climate change, snow has become a scarce commodity and an artificial product.
The SNB exhibition entitled “Schnee. Das weisse Wunder” (Hallwylstrasse 15, Bern – from 4 March to 2022 July 9 – from Monday to Friday, from 00:18 to 00:XNUMX) traces the history of this atmospheric phenomenon.
The first snowflakes fell long before humans populated the earth, but it is in the last 150 years that we have radically changed our perception of snow: initially seen as a danger, it then became a tourist attraction and finally a material replaceable.
The development of the high mountain regions and the gradual rise of the snowline have also influenced the nature and culture of Switzerland.
What will future snow look like in Confederate Country? The exhibition invites you to explore this theme in a fun way by combining science, poetry and art.

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“Poetry”, “Game”, “Search” and “Dissolution”

The exhibition is structured as a journey through the thematic areas "Poetry", "Game", "Research" and "Dissolution".
In the center there is an audio station where you can listen to songs on the snow such as "Gigi vo Arosa" by Ines Torelli or "Eisbär" by Grauzone.
It will therefore be possible to deal with the theme from different points of view and with various tools: texts, images, films, graphics, sounds, interactive stations and objects.
In addition to loans, much has been drawn from the vast collections of the Swiss National Library, as they reflect the different facets of snow.
It ranges from the macro details of ice and snowflakes taken by the artist Andreas Züst, conserved in the Cabinet of Prints, to songs from the Swiss National Sound Archives, through literary works such as the poem "Schnee" by Robert Walser, belonging to the Swiss Literary Archive.
The exhibition room also hosts interactive spaces that involve the public with a ski video game, a "peak book" and a "cloud of words" on the snow.
Lastly, the exhibition aims to be an occasion to reflect on the fact that snow could disappear as a result of climate change and the melting of glaciers.

The flyer of the exhibition 'Snow. The White Miracle' of the Swiss National Library

Snow in an undated photograph between 1914 and 1950 (Photo: Jacques Naegeli Fund, Cabinet des estampes, BN)
Snow in an undated photograph between 1914 and 1950
(Photo: Jacques Naegeli Fund, Cabinet des estampes, BN)

A side program full of contents

The Bernese exhibition is accompanied by a series of side events organized with various partners.
On 5 April 2022, from 18.00 to 19.30, on the occasion of the respective exhibitions "Snow" and "Das Skivirus", the Swiss National Library and the Swiss Alpine Museum will propose "The melting of the glaciers", an evening of reading on the novels dedicated to skiing and to the snow.
"Snow and more snow" is the title of the guided tour of the two exhibitions which will take place on 26 April 2022 from 17:30 to 19:00.
A second guided tour entitled "From Barry to Barryvox", organized in the exhibition "Snow" and in "Barry" of the Natural History Museum of Bern on 18 May 2022 from 17.30 to 18.30, will trace the history of rescue from avalanches.
The Swiss National Library will also discuss various aspects of snow during the Bern Museum Night on 18 March 2022 and the BiblioWeekend on 26 and 27 March 2022, the first open weekend of libraries nationwide.

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Greenland in 1974–1979 in a slide by Andreas Züst (Photo: Legacy Andreas Züst, Prints and Drawings Department, NL)
Greenland in 1974–1979 in a slide by Andreas Züst
(Photo: Legacy Andreas Züst, Prints and Drawings Department, NL)

Four contributions to the “Gegensprecher” podcasts

Further food for thought on the theme of the exhibition will be offered by the four contributions to the podcast series "Gegensprecher".
These are conversations with historian Dania Achermann (University of Bern) on the history of snow science, with the co-director of the Tourism Research Center Monika Bandi Tanner (University of Bern) on the relationship between snow and tourism, with the founder and of Protect Our Winters Switzerland, Nicholas Bornstein, on outdoor sports in a context of climate change and with the photographer and artist Ester Vonplon, present at the exhibition with three of her works, with whom we will talk about how to immortalize the snow.

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Key visual of the exhibition “Snow. The White Miracle” of the Swiss National Library (Design: Maison Standard; Photo: Roli Deluxe)
Key visual of the exhibition “Snow. The White Miracle" of the Swiss National Library
(Design: Maison Standard; Photo: Roli Deluxe)