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NEWSLETTER 29.04.2015


Venice is always worth a visit, particularly in springtime, and particularly now that art is again holding sway. On 8 May, Federal Councillor Alain Berset will be there to officially open the Swiss Pavilion at the 56th Venice Art Biennale. The pavilion forms the stage for the exhibition by Swiss artist Pamela Rosenkranz entitled «Our Product», at which visitors are invited to reflect on people’s increasing loss of autonomy over their own body. Those who won’t make it to Venice can at least undertake the journey to the nearest post office. To mark the occasion of the Biennale, Swiss Post has issued a stamp designed by Pamela Rosenkranz herself that is closely aligned to the topic at the Swiss Pavilion. The stamp’s surface has been structured so as to resemble human skin and can be explored with our fingertips.


Pro Helvetia Communications


Swiss art in the city on the lagoon

«Our Product» is the name of the exhibition on display in the Swiss Pavilion at this year’s 56th Art Biennale in Venice. Created by Pamela Rosenkranz, it focuses on our human body, which, through plastic surgery, the cult of youth and sports and the pressure to consume, is increasingly being turned into mere «material» that can be formed according to the dictates of society. Switzerland’s official accompanying events programme, held at Palazzo Trevisan under the heading «Salon Suisse», spotlights the undiminished appeal of the Dada movement. For further details, see our press release at www.biennials.ch

Matchmaking in the literary scene

By tradition, the Swiss literature scene meets up on the Aare River over the Ascension Day weekend for the Solothurn Literature Days festival. For the second time, Pro Helvetia is using the occasion to stage a matchmaking event for Swiss and international festival organisers and propagators of literature at Palais Besenval on Saturday, 16 May from 10 to 12 o’clock. Personal encounters will enable participants to exchange ideas, forge contacts and plan some form of future cooperation. Detailed information can be found at www.literatur.ch.


Folk music in the Blenio valley

Earthy sounds will be echoing through the valley of Blenio in Ticino this spring. For the second edition of its «Festival di musica popolare svizzera» on 13 June, the Società Carnevale di Ludiano has invited nine folk music ensembles from all four linguistic regions of Switzerland to the beautiful mountain setting of Ludiano. The festival line-up includes Willis Wyberkapelle from Toggenburg, Vox Blenii from Ticino and Orchestre La-Fa-Mi Tille from Château d’Oex. Programme details at www.ludianoinfesta.ch.

On the roots of digital culture

Lasting up to 14 June, the group exhibition «Short Cuts» at the CentrePasquArt in Biel spotlights the development of digital culture from its beginnings up to the present day. It gives media art practitioners the opportunity to dialogue with some of their predecessors from the 1960s and 1970s. The interdisciplinary exhibition combines large-scale installations, video projections and robotic devices. «Short Cuts» is a cooperation project supported by Pro Helvetia in connection with its «Digital Culture» programme. Further information at www.pasquart.ch.


When stones hum

«As if I became upside down, right side up» is the name of the first institutional solo exhibition of Basel-based Hannah Weinberger in Germany. It is scheduled to run from 18 April to 26 July 2015 at Harburger Bahnhof in Hamburg. The 27-year-old artist operates outside traditional exhibition formats, primarily working with combinations of sound, sculpture, performance and video. For her «Humming Stones» installation, for example, she uses six hollowed-out pieces of Swiss rock as amplifiers for her compositions. Synthetic tones merge with the timbre of the rocks and the sounds in the room, giving rise to a space-filling audiovisual experience. Further details at www.kvhbf.de.

A stage art festival

Beginning on 14 May and lasting for five weeks, the Wiener Festwochen present international contemporary stage art of the highest order. Three new Swiss productions will be shown at this year’s event: Mats Staub’s installation «21 – Erinnerungen ans Erwachsenwerden» (memories of becoming an adult), «The Civil Wars» by Milo Rau, and the Junge Theater Basel will stage «Noise» in a production of Sebastian Nübling. Also included in the programme is «Go down, Moses» by Romeo Castellucci, co-produced by Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne. Details at www.festwochen.at.

Swiss Vibes in Paris

Swissvibes.org is a blog spotlighting latest developments in the Swiss pop and jazz scene and bringing hitherto unknown talent to the fore. The initiators of Swiss Vibes have now received a Carte Blanche from the Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris, enabling them to present a series of six concerts from 2 to 4 June 2015 that are programmed to surprise. The music styles on offer range from the psychotic rock of «Puts Marie» to the fresh jazz of «PommelHORSE». Further information at www.ccsparis.com.

A piece about disappearing

«Black Out» by Swiss choreographer Philippe Saire focuses on the dark sides of life. Audiences are given a birds-eye view of a piece on the borderline between dance and performance art. On a floor covered by black granulate, the dancers leave traces and entice audiences into associative realms, until the whole scene is ultimately sucked up into a black mass. Pro Helvetia Shanghai is supporting the production’s forthcoming tour of China. National and international performance dates can be found at www.philippesaire.ch.

From everyday object to sculpture

Together with four art practitioners from Egypt, Swiss artist Sandrine Pelletier is taking part in the «Possible but Uncertain – Contemporary Sculpture» exhibition at the Saad Zaghloul Cultural Center in Cairo from 28 April to 14 May 2015. Sandrine Pelletier forms everyday objects into symbol-laden pictures and sculptures, touching on topics such as change, rituals and myths. The collaboration project was initiated during her studio residency stay in Cairo. Further information at www.sandrinepelletier.com.


Residency at Wiels

The one-year residency programme at the contemporary art centre of Wiels in Brussels represents an excellent stepping stone for up-and-coming young artists. They are offered a studio, an apartment, a monthly grant, a mentoring programme, an outstanding network and initial exhibition opportunities in this lively and cosmopolitan city. Pro Helvetia supports talented young Swiss artists participating in the residency programme. Applications are handled by the Wiels contemporary art centre, the deadline for submission is 31 May 2015. Detailed information at www.wiels.org.

In the lab – Swiss-Russian residency programme

The Swiss «artists-in-labs program» has been fostering artistic research since 2003 by organising and accompanying residencies of art practitioners in scientific research labs. Up to 26 May 2015, practitioners from all art disciplines can apply for a three-month residency at the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology in Yekaterinburg (Russia). The IPAE explores the complex ecosystems of Western Siberia and the Ural mountains, gaining insights into climate change in the area and its impact on the environment and on human life. Further information and application forms at www.artistsinlabs.ch.


Mentors for young writers of literature

For the third year running, the «Salon du livre et de la presse» in Geneva is incorporating a mentoring programme called «Parrains&Poulains». Five pairs consisting of an aspiring young author and an experienced writer are formed, each meeting up several times before and during the festival. The young writers are introduced to the literary scene by their mentors and benefit from the latters’ experience and network. The fruits of their collaboration have gone into a publication that is to be presented at the opening of the Salon on 29 April. Further information and the publication in PDF format are available at www.salondulivre.ch.


You can now submit your applications electronically via: www.myprohelvetia.ch


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Pro Helvetia

Swiss Arts Council

Hirschengraben 22
8024 Zurich

Editor: Isabel Drews

Translations: Martin Striegel

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and throughout the world.