During World War II, Switzerland implemented a military strategy called “Reduit” that lasted from 1940 to 1944. General Guisan conducted the “Ruetlirapport” on 25th July 1940 on the Ruetli, a site important to the Swiss myth, which was intended to communicate the military strategy to the soldiers.“Reduit”led to the construction of numerous bunkers, which were covered with camouflage to blend in with the mountain. I believe that the landscape created by“Reduit”is not only a remnant of the past, but also a visible concept of political neutrality, which still continue and effects everybody.
Eriko Miyata was born in 1993. She studied at the department of Inter Media Arts at Tokyo University of the Arts, and at the Zurich University of the Arts, where she received her MFA in July 2020. While studying in Zurich, she participated in academic research workshops at Shiv Nadar University in Delhi and City University of Hong Kong.
Eriko Miyata was selected as the winner of the prize this year for a project that relates almost perfectly to the idea of ‘other’ or alternative histories. The story is that of the bunkers constructed in Switzerland during the second world war. In Europe Switzerland is considered to have been a neutral country and not often associated in the popular memory with conflict. Nonetheless Miyata finds and records, with extreme beauty and precision some of the sites that bear witness to the continued presence of the after-effects of conflict on the Swiss landscape. Technically sophisticated and based on careful research and archival material this is a truly worthy winner of the prize for this theme.