Maximilian Haidacher, Hotels des Alpes, 2008
Hotels des Alpes – special edition book, 2008
“When there is an elephant in the room, introduce him….”
Maximilian Haidacher has self-published a book-on-demand collection of his landscape/social documentary work Hotels des Alpes, concentrating on the colossal hotel structures that have come to dominate any accessible pass in the French Alps. These are the hotels built, mostly in the 70‘s, to accommodate the huge crowds of ski tourists who, I guess, weren’t turned off by these massive eye-sores. Maybe they look better with snow on them, or maybe, more likely, tourists are willing to see past the crimes in order to save a few dollars.
But wait, at second glance, there is something beautiful in the function-as-form-as-function aesthetic. While not trying to be beautiful, they occasionally are. That, I guess, is the magic of how photography, like the landscape, can be phenomenal before it is either “good” or “bad”.
I think what makes these images interesting is that they are not architectural in their structure but instead follow age old traditions of landscape painting and landscape photography. I suppose it is Max’s attempt to simultaneously make the elephant disappear and introduce him.
62 pages in color