Gary Singh’s insight on Switzerland after visiting H.R. Giger’s Museum located in Gruyeres, small medieval village, changed drastically from the jolly hillside Switzerland, to a unique artistic museum with more than a history than you read about in books. In his articl “Spooky Switzerland: Alien Nightmares and Mystical Savages” he mentions the typical tourists spots and reasons, but explores he own adventure in the Giger’s Museum and Giger himself.
“Most people travel to Gruyères for the castle and the cheese factory,” says Aurore Sierro, one of the Museum’s tour guides. “And when they come in here, they get disgusted.”
Ascending a spiral wooden staircase, we eventually arrive at a room featuring huge airbrushes of The Spell, I, II, III and IV — one on each wall. Spell III includes Giger’s version of the Baphomet symbol at its center, complete with the Caduceus — two snakes coiling into a figure 8 around a shaft. Baphomet and the snakes represent male and female energy or dark/light polarity.“But he is definitely a Swiss artist,” Sierro enthuses, pointing out traditional Swiss doily textures Giger stenciled on the skins of the snakes in Spell III. “He also painted aliens eating fondue.”
And the transformation didn’t stop there. Outside on the cobblestone pathway, some tourists paused to have their photos taken in front of the 500lb cast aluminum Birth Machine sculpture, instead of actually visiting the museum itself. The massive work is two meters high and features mechanical babies in place of the bullets inside a revolver. The piece is one of many where Giger explores the lifelong psychological effects of a traumatic birth.
In fact, it seemed like the longer I remained in Switzerland, the more mystical everything seemed to become. Things began to connect in unexplainable ways — Jung, alchemy, transformation, Giger, male/female polarity, etc.