Friday, December 9, 2022

“I’ve met the best and the baddest people”

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In the Turkish province of Şanlıurfa in northern Mesopotamia, the completed work of art is expected to be completed in around ten years.

He is one of the best-known photographers in Switzerland and has had the big stars in front of his camera for decades. An accident made it impossible to continue his career: Michel Comte (68) had to switch. And is now one of the most important artists in the country. His most ambitious, perhaps even most megalomaniac project: “I leased land in Turkey that is 40 by 60 square kilometers. On top of that we build art that one day can be viewed from space.” Comte’s dream: a 120-kilometer light installation that reflects the constellation of Orion at night.

The huge, sparsely populated property is located in northern Mesopotamia near the Syrian border. The landscape is desert-like. “The country is available to us from the Turkish government for 50 years. The plan is that we upgrade the barren area with our mega-project, revitalize it and develop it for tourism, maybe one day transform it into a cultural site including a university that is unique in the world, »explains Comte. The project is financed with sponsorship money, but also by the initiator himself, who repeatedly sells his own art. Comte believes it will take around ten years for his vision to be implemented.

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