Homage to Walter Keller

In memory of Walter Keller. Publisher extraordinaire. Scalo Editions.

“Walter Keller, the publisher of Scalo, passed away in Zürich a few weeks ago and as we present the Telex Iran exhibition at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, we want to remember him. Walter was a great publisher. He was without a doubt the best publisher of the 90s. He changed what a visual book was about from being a portfolio of single images in the fatigued formula of white page – picture – white page – picture, into an explosive object that was not a portfolio any more but an object in itself and by itself, full of energy, laced with an intense dialectical struggle between form and content that created unique experiences. In truth, in visual books, there is a before-Walter Keller and an after-Walter Keller. A sociologist by training, he brought to every one of the publications he created or contributed to (Parkett, Der Alltag, etc.) a unique intellectual energy at the convergence of art and history, art and social responsibility, art and politics, thus saving art from the curse of art for its own sake. He made it vibrant, relevant, rich, palpitating, living, breathing. Walter was a complex and paradoxical man, generous to a fault with his authors and artists, devoted, supportive and very, very present to their needs and difficulties, he was however completely unable to communicate his own distress and his own difficulties. To those who knew Walter please remember him, to those who didn’t know him, try to learn about him and through him understand what can be and what can happen when a bold individual takes a known media and revolutionizes it.”

Gilles Peress
Lausanne, 16.09.2014