Yannic Bartolozzi

A limestone mine


A collaborative project with Jean-Noël Pazzi and the Museum of Baulmes, Switzerland.

Not far behind the small town of Baulmes lies a mountain, and in this mountain are five mysterious cavities which only few of the local villagers still remember.  Since 1898 a factory that went by the name of “The Limes and Cements” (“Les Chaux et Ciment”) used to exploit the mines. It shut down in 1960. The end.

Actually, it was destroyed by the army in 1964. Dynamited. And for a short period the galleries were used as a ground for mushroom cultures until the area was permanently abandoned. From there on, the only souls to be found in the 17 km pitch-black labyrinth were those of bats and a handful of speleologists.

50 years later, photographers Jean-Noel Pazzi and Yannic Bartolozzi explore the remains of the deserted and neglected mountain-site. There behind a great metal gate inside the bowels of the mountain whispers a cool and dead air. The scent is humid and mineral. Like a siphon that sucks in a river, it growls awaiting the passersby. The tone is set. Alone. Here. The imaginary can still penetrate the darkness and live off the lost stories of the forgotten mines of Baulmes.

The stage for this project is a gloomy and dark journey- a dialog between two perceptions and two minds. In this conversation photographs are resuscitated from another time and invite one to enter another dimension.

Text: Jean-Noël Pazzi // Translation: Marwan Bassiouni