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NEWSLETTER 11.03.2015


The Leipzig Book Fair is considered the starting signal each year to a series of literary events. And cultural highlights featuring Pro Helvetia-backed artists from Switzerland are lined up not just in Germany, but around the globe. In New York, Valais-based artist Valentin Carron is giving his debut as a curator. The Swiss-Lebanese duo PRAED are set to enthral audiences in Beirut, Cairo and Alexandria with their unique mix of Arabic pop, free jazz and electronica. In Kyoto, Japan, Pipilotti Rist is presenting her latest video installation. Finally, those staying at home can embark on a literary trip without the need for any transportation thanks to the magazine «Transhelvetica», which presents works by up-and-coming young Swiss authors.


Pro Helvetia Communications


Evaluating culture

In 2008, Pro Helvetia and the Migros Culture Percentage jointly issued guidelines for the evaluation of cultural projects, strategies and institutions, thereby making a contribution to quality assurance in the world of culture. A second, revised edition is now being published under the title of «Evaluieren in der Kultur. Warum, was, wann und wie» (Evaluating culture. Why what, when and how). The goal of the guidelines is to provide practical information and advice on how to conduct such an evaluation. They are aimed at cultural educators, promoters, sponsors and event organisers, and can now be ordered free of charge via www.prohelvetia.ch.


Days of dance in Lausanne

Until 22 March, the stage at Théatre Sévelin 36 in Lausanne is taken up by dancers. At the «Les printemps de Sévelin» festival, audiences are given a unique opportunity to discover aspiring dance companies from Switzerland and abroad. «Programme Commun», organised together with four other theatres and Lausanne’s ECAL art academy, offers a further 16 dance productions as well as discussions focusing on contemporary dance issues, parties and an exhibition. For programme information see www.theatresevelin36.ch and programme-commun.ch.

Pas de deux featuring Russian and Swiss comics scene

Three Russian and four Swiss artists dance their way through the two countries’ comics scene. «Pas de Deux» is the name of this first-time collaboration. Initial fruits of the project will be shown at the Fumetto Comix Festival in Lucerne until 15 march, with Russian comics artist Viktoria Lomasko also giving a talk there on 10 March. The Swiss comics magazine Strapazin is covering the «Pas-de-Deux» exhibition, which will close at the Boomfest comics festival in St. Petersburg this autumn. Further details at www.fumetto.ch 

Eleventh world premiere in connection with «Œuvres Suisses»

A new piece by Geneva-based composer Michael Jarrell will be premiered on 2 April at the KKL in Lucerne, performed by the renowned Arditti quartet and the Lucerne symphony orchestra and conducted by James Gaffigan. This is already the eleventh world premiere resulting from the three-year «Œuvres Suisses» project, which was initiated by Pro Helvetia and the association of Swiss professional orchestras in partnership with SRG, the Swiss broadcasting corporation. The eleven orchestras involved are responsible for building up a repertoire of three new orchestra pieces each (34 overall), while Pro Helvetia provides support for their tours abroad. Further information at www.prohelvetia.ch 

Contemporary dance outreach

The zürich moves! dance festival scrutinizes and challenges gender stereotypes. From 13 to 20 March, contemporary productions, dance films and performances will be on show. The festival, with Marc Streit as artistic director, will be staged by Tanzhaus Zürich, Kunstraum Walcheturm, Kunstraum Réunion, Houdini cinema and Club Exil. Pro Helvetia supports the outreach format created by zürich moves! this year, aiming at attracting audiences from outside the regular dance scene. Programme at www.zurichmoves.com


Merging Arabic music, free jazz and electronica

PRAED duo is made up of Swiss jazz clarinet player Paed Conca and Lebanese sound artist Raed Yassin. Together they produce music that can best be described as a mix of popular Arabic music, free jazz and electronica and have, since 2006, been performing in Europe, Japan and Canada. From 14 to 28 March, with the backing of Pro Helvetia Cairo, they are due to play in various clubs in Beirut, Cairo and Alexandria. Further information at www.paed.ch

Valentin Carron’s debut as curator

In 2013, Valentin Carron was the artist behind the exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion for the Venice Biennale. Now, two years later, he is giving his debut as a curator at the Swiss Institute in New York. The show with the evocative title «Work Hard» combines various works that have influenced and inspired the artist from the canton of Valais. They represent an impressive mix of established Swiss art makers such as Bernhard Luginbühl, Urs Lüthi, Méret Oppenheim and Jean Tinguely, and younger voices such as Claudia Comte, Fabian Marti and Mai-Thu Perret. Details at www.swissinstitute.net

Leipzig heads up spring book events

By tradition, the Leipzig Book Fair represents the start to book events in spring. Following Switzerland’s successful presence as special guest country in 2014, there will again be a multifaceted programme presenting Swiss literature in addition to the Swiss publishers’ and booksellers’ booth at this year’s fair. Ruth Schweikert, for example, has been invited to provide first insights into her yet unpublished new novel at one of the popular «Wohnzimmerlesungen» (sitting room readings), and Jens Steiner, accompanied on the piano by Raphael Urweider, will read from his latest work. Further information at www.sbvv.ch

New Pipilotti Rist video installation in Kyoto

Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture is a new and choice event on the contemporary art calendar. 40 international artists have been selected by the curators and invited to Japan, among them Pipilotti Rist. Following a research trip to Kyoto in 2014, during which she also gave a series of lectures, the Swiss artist created a new video installation especially for this festival. The installation can be seen at the Horikawa Housing Complex from 7 March to 10 May. Further details at www.parasophia.jp


Art on the interface of science, technology and ecology

Knowing that important input for the future of our society is being created at the interface of art, science, technology and ecological awareness, the US Embassy in Switzerland and Pro Helvetia – with its «Mobile. In Touch with Digital Creation» programme – have jointly launched a call for projects. Applicants are asked to submit works of art that deal with this range of fields. The deadline for submission is 1 May. Details at old.prohelvetia.ch/mobile

Programme for young theatre practitioners in Avignon

Each summer, the Avignon festival turns a provincial town into a melting pot of global theatre. From 16 to 23 July 2015, young theatre practitioners active in Switzerland are given the opportunity to take part in a special seminar programme promising a host of discoveries and encounters. This year’s edition of Pro Helvetia’s project for up-and-coming theatre artists is organised in collaboration with the festival organisers. Application forms can be downloaded here or obtained via theater@prohelvetia.ch.


Young writers take readers for a mental ride

«Transhelvetica» is a recently launched Swiss cultural magazine dedicated to travel and culture. In collaboration with Pro Helvetia, for each of the coming six editions, an aspiring young author resident in Switzerland is sent on a trip in connection with a specific topic or to a certain location. They return with a short literary text, which takes around 70,000 readers on a journey of the mind. The March/April edition has Daniel Mezger seeking out Asterix in Aventicum. Details at transhelvetica.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.