FIRST STEP FOR A ROLE PLAY: THE SKETCHING OF THE FIGURES
I want to go there, I have to go there, that's me (ongoing project, 2005)
Christian Mayer, Yves Mettler und Marion Ronca
Three people meet on the way to Switzerland, away from Switzerland or on the way to themselves: A tourist, a migrant, Helvetia.
None of them remains untouched by the intense exchange of information, their influence on each other and by the mockery and sabotage: The field becomes larger, the players swap roles and the term “Switzerland” becomes unreliable, volatile and dangerous.
“I will see what I expect to see on this journey. And I expect to see what I have already seen. I am both a consumer and a manufacturer.”
“I am following the contracts, the possibilities. The more of them there are, here or there, the more I can make of them for my people and myself. Everything is indefinite here, the next thing is always already present. Switzerland is one of many possibilities. Moving for a living instead of settling.“
“I am Helvetia, the mother of all Swiss people. Some say that I am 700 years old, others say I am not yet 200. I decorate the Swiss coins. That is surely no coincidence. I am beautiful and proud and strong and I raise my children with perpetual values. Some say that I am just a picture that is getting sick. I wish I had a body, so I could hit them.”
SECOND STEP FOR A ROLE PLAY: GIVE THE FIGURE A VOICE
Res Helvetica: A Summit in the Swiss Alps
Radio Play in One Act, 2006
Christian Mayer, Yves Mettler and Marion Ronca
A tourist is pleased by the calm and beautiful views in the Swiss mountains.
An immigrant is pleased by his arrival in Switzerland.
Helvetia is pleased by the unexpected visit.
«When you climb a mountain, an ox looks like a sheep and a sheep like a piglet. And yet an ox not shaped like a sheep, nor a sheep like a piglet. It is the error of the viewer’s standpoint.»
(Our gratitude goes out to the actors Daniel Mangisch, Laila Nielsen, and Samuel Rusch and to the F+F, school for Art and Media DesignZurich as well Martin Zimmermann for his technical support in recording the radio play)
THIRD STEP FOR A ROLE PLAY: ENTER THE GAME YOURSELF
Board game,Video, 2006
Christian Mayer, Yves Mettler
Helvetia has given up her life as a hermit to open up a hotel in the city: Hotel Helvetia. A theme hotel in which each room reflects a different facet of Switzerland. There are exactly 10 rooms, numbered from 2 to 12. Only number 4 does not exist, nobody knows why. Which room one receives is determined by luck of which one needs a lot once one makes an initial decision to enter the hotel. One can leave the hotel rich or lose everything, one can be honest or betray shamelessly, the female patron watches over everything with her shield and sword. Beautiful Switzerland serves as a backdrop to this dangerous adventure, and is nevertheless merely used by all participants to secure their own well-being.