hic sunt leones



Hic Sunt Leones is a photographic project by the artist Gabriele Spalluto. The project, developed and realised over the course of one year (between March 2022 and March 2023) revolves around national borders and the relationship one has to them. During the project, the artist documented 175 (road) borders crossings that still have a service office. This collection of images - always taken from the same point of view, i.e. showing the last metres of Swiss soil the eventual customs building and then the first metres of foreign soil (which, due to the perspective, appear smaller) - serves as a historical document but also as a suggestion for the initiation of a deeper discussion about the value of borders, both from a more symbolic and a more practical side.

The 175 images thus immortalise both the crossings where the larg- est and most heavily manned are present, but also small mountain passes, where there is nothing more than a sign or a flag to remind us of the border crossing. Two places at odds visually, but formally fulfilling the same function. What do we feel when confronted with such images? What relationship and considerations do such places bring, knowing their value?

While ‘Hic Sunt Leones’ is thus a project that speaks of a political theme, it is also a collection of postcards from unusual locations in Switzerland.

The project takes the form of a book with more than 350 pages.