Chalet Suisse was created in 2010. Since then, it has been based at the Gran Lux, in Saint-Etienne (France), in a former brewery built in 1882, which has been converted into a polymorphous space for artistic creation and distribution.
You have to walk through the Gran Lux’s cinema and projection booth to get to the Chalet Suisse print workshop. The Riso duplicating machines stand next to the guillotine, bookbinding machines, paper stock and other tools used in the production of in-house editions: fanzines, magazines, artist’s books, notebooks, stationery, flyers, programmes, posters, postcards, etc.
In the context of specific projects or residencies, Chalet Suisse invites artists to experiment with risography. This process allows them to make each edition an original and multiple work at the same time. Between tradition and technology, their vision-projects are transformed.
Risography is a Japanese printing technique that automates the principles of screen printing and adapts them to the needs of publishing. Each page remains unique but its reproducibility has no limit. Very low energy consumption (no heating), it uses natural inks (without chemical additives) made from soya. 13 colours, from monochrome to autochrome: the variations are infinite.
The Chalet Suisse catalogue reflects the diversity of artist’s publishing, from fanzines to works limited to a few copies. Vagabond cinematography, architectural or mental ballads, on foot or a thousand feet from here below, epistolary material, transformist graphics… the links between all our editions are woven over the years.
Chalet Suisse is a travelling sign. Gran Lux, bookshops, fairs, museum-shops… It also likes to set up here and there, illuminating its neon sign for a few days or months, in an art gallery (Taiwan), a museum (Kunsthalle Göppingen), an empty shop (Saint-Etienne), etc.
A living installation where everyone, whether amateur or simply curious, can become a collector, a reader and become familiar with another way of playing with inks and papers.