We’ve all seen these pictures in the press: a person standing at the edge of the picture pointing at something—a window, a field, a red Mitsubishi, a bullet hole. The face is self-righteous, accusatory, outraged, or inviting, proud, even joyful. The caption then reveals what it’s all about. A man pointing at the window from which a deaf pensioner fired shots with an assault rifle. An unemployed man pointing at a river in which he rescued a drowning woman. Or the janitor of the primary school once attended by newly-elected Swiss Federal Council member Doris Leuthard can remember exactly which hook she used to hang her gym bag on. The gesture of pointing channels the viewer’s attention, forging a connection, a chronology, creating a story by simple but highly effective means.
Beatrice Minger has brought together 124 pointing pictures and their captions from the Swiss local and tabloid press to produce a kaleidoscopic portrait of Switzerland. It’s a mosaic of stories about our coexistence, about what moves our nation deep down inside. A panorama of disasters great and small, outrageous incidents, fabled finds, tragic coincidences and painstaking investigations.