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NEWSLETTER 29.01.2015


The Centre Culturel Suisse, located in Paris’ Marais district, serves to showcase Swiss arts and culture in the French capital. This year the Centre is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Co-Directors Jean-Paul Felley and Olivier Kaeser are using the occasion to present a cross-section of contemporary Swiss artwork full of surprises in the course of the year. The programme kicks off in January with Swiss artists Pierre Vadi and Nicolas Party. Not just in Paris, but also at residencies organised by Pro Helvetia’s liaison offices in Shanghai, Johannesburg, Cairo and New Delhi can Swiss art practitioners build up an international network. Dialogue with representatives of other cultures regularly provides artists with new input and inspiration for their own work.


Pro Helvetia Communications


Debates on scenographic diversity

June will see the start to the Prague Quadrennial, the most important platform for scenography in the world. Switzerland is also represented and will, with an eye on the Quadrennial, host four debates focusing on the question of whether scenographic activity in the performative arts means the same as in architecture, the visual arts or the field of cultural studies. The first of these debates is scheduled for 31 January in Geneva. Participants include musician Eric Linder, architects Daniel Zamarbide and Leopold Banchini, as well as scenographers Chiara Petrini and Sarah André. Further information at www.sharedspace.ch


Dance city Zurich

For four days in February, Zurich will be at the heart of contemporary dance made in Switzerland as the host of the Swiss Contemporary Dance Days 2015. A specialist jury has selected 14 dance creations for the event, ranging from the intimate, 15-minute performance of «Le Triomphe de la Renommée» by Marie-Caroline Hominal to the one-hour choreography of «Antes» by Guilherme Botelho for his Companie Alias. The festival, initiated by Pro Helvetia, also includes discussion rounds, a boat trip and a dance party. Programme details at swissdancedays.ch

Geneva symposium on digital future

The Lift Conference in Geneva, with its workshops, discussion rounds and keynote speeches, represents an ideal occasion for new insights and exchange in the areas of innovation, digital technology and entrepreneurship. Scheduled for 4 to 6 February, the event will bring together international futurologists, scientists, inventors and other creative minds to present and discuss latest developments. Pro Helvetia is supporting specific conference items at the interface of arts, business and digital technology in connection with its «Mobile. In Touch with Digital Creation» programme. Details at liftconference.com

Paper artwork from New Delhi

Paper is the medium of choice for 30-year-old artist Sachin George Sebastian from New Delhi. Out of this fragile material, he creates intricate structures, silhouettes in scissor cutting style and multifaceted collages, dealing with topics such as urban planning, living space and migration. Pro Helvetia’s residency programme and the cultural centre Rote Fabrik in Zurich are now offering him the opportunity of spending three months in Switzerland to forge contacts with the local arts scene and gain new inspiration for his work. Further information at www.rotefabrik.ch


Magic lure of images

Teresa Hubbard, originally from Ireland, and Alexander Birchler from Switzerland have been collaborating for 25 years and have created an impressive oeuvre of films, photographs and sculptures. The Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin is showing their latest film trilogy, completed in 2014, at the «Sound Speed Marker» solo exhibition, which runs until 3 May. Typically for this artist duo, the trilogy is replete with cinematographic references. In an artist talk held on 7 March, the two will provide background information on their creative work and philosophy. Details at www.imma.ie

Laboratory for new folk music

Swiss clarinettist and composer Dani Häusler, dulcimer player Christoph Pfändler and electric bass player Richi Hugener have formed an ad-hoc ensemble together with seven musicians from Germany and Iran. At the Hermannshof in Völksen, northern Germany, the group is currently working on compositions with elements from each of their respective folk music traditions. The aim is to provide brass bands and plucked string orchestras with new pieces for the subsequent concerts. Further details at www.hermannshof.de

Sound into movement

«Siyaba: Found among Translation» is a multimedia performance originating from a joint project by Swiss composer and performer Charlotte Hug, South African choreographer PJ Sabbagha and the dance company Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative. Their aim was to explore the translation of sound into movement and the possibilities of non-verbal communication. The outcome can be seen on 9 and 10 March at the Infecting The City festival in Cape Town and on 19 March at the Francophonie festival in Maputo. infectingthecity.com and www.ccfmoz.com


Residencies in China, India and South Africa

For six Swiss cultural practitioners, the year has started off with a residency in either India, South Africa or China. Poet Heike Fiedler is writing and performing in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Nele Dechmann and Nicola Ruffo from the Zürcher Kunstverein (Zurich arts association) are, together with Fabian Jaggi and Katrin Murbach from «Ortreport», working on a book project about 50 buildings and their inhabitants in Johannesburg. And multimedia artist Urs August Steiner is currently exploring the film-making scene in China. Applications for residencies 2016 can be submitted up to 1 March 2015 at www.prohelvetia.ch.


Spanish literature magazine spotlights Switzerland

The well-known Spanish literature magazine Quimera is dedicating a lead feature in its February edition to contemporary Swiss literature. Interviews with writers Roland Buti, Dorothee Elmiger, Pedro Lenz and Pierre Lepori, an introduction by literature specialist Daniel Rothenbühler and a talk with Caroline Coutau from the Editions Zoé publishing house will together provide readers with multifaceted insights into the Swiss literary scene today. The publication is due to be presented at the Swiss Embassy in Madrid on 13 February. Further information at revistaquimera.com

Publication on cultural outreach now also in English

Since 2013, the online publication «Zeit für Vermittlung» (time for outreach) has provided in-depth insights into the key topics of cultural outreach. With its practical examples, assessments by important players in the Swiss cultural scene and a glossary, the publication has swiftly established itself as a must-read product for people active in cultural outreach and education. It is now available not only in German, French and Italian, but also in English, which will enable the findings and insights to gain a place in the international discourse. See www.kultur-vermittlung.ch.


30 years Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris

«Beacon of Swiss culture in Paris firmly established in the French capital’s arts scene». This is how the Swiss daily paper 24heures headed up an article on the Centre Culturel Suisse’s 30-year anniversary programme, which was presented to the media by the Centre’s two directors, Jean-Paul Felley and Olivier Kaeser. «Our focus is clearly on contemporary culture,» the directors state in another French-language Swiss daily, Le Temps, when asked about their programming principles. The Centre, located in the Marais district of Paris, attracts around 40,000 visitors a year, roughly 70 percent of whom from France and 20 percent from Switzerland. The associated media release (in German and French) is available at www.prohelvetia.ch.


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Pro Helvetia

Swiss Arts Council

Hirschengraben 22
8024 Zurich

Editor: Isabel Drews

Translations: Martin Striegel

Pro Helvetia supports and promotes Swiss culture in Switzerland
and throughout the world.