In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Zurich’s youth was rebellious. An entire generation of students was in search for the “new”. In 1981, photographic artist Simone Kappeler left her native Switzerland, setting off on a road trip across America. She took with her a Hasselblad, a 35 mm camera, as well as a Polaroid. Over the course of the journey, she would add a multitude of cheap cameras to this collection that enabled snapshot-like images—taken unselfconsciously whenever a motif sprang at her. The images reflect a direct and unrestrained manner, they tell of immediate sensual experience and the longing for freedom and independence.

Thirty-five years later, Kappeler has revisited the vast collection that resulted of her undertaking. The selection of some 230 images she has now made for and their composition in this new book reveal a consistent artistic perspective and a signature style. And even today, her 1981 view of America has lost none of its magic.

Named on the Longlist of the German Photo Book Prize 20/21.

Designed by Markus Bosshard


Simone Kappeler, born 1952, read German and French literature and art history at University of Zurich before studying photography at Zurich’s School of Design (now Zurich University of the Arts), from where she graduated in 1979. She lives and works as a freelance photographic artist in Zurich.

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