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NEWSLETTER 17.06.2015


Pod koněm – «Under the Tail of the Horse» – is where locals in Prague like to meet up. The meeting place is beneath the statue of St. Wenceslas, who is sitting high up on his horse on the square bearing his name. «Under the Tail of the Horse» is also the name of Switzerland’s contribution to the 13th Prague Quadrennial for scenography, for which Pro Helvetia is now responsible for the first time. An installation stretching over several hundred metres calls into question the habitual perspective of this historic square. Supplementing the architectural/spatial intervention in the city centre is a concert-cum-performance on the opening night at the Podolí swimming stadium on the outskirts of Prague. Visitors here are invited to dip into the pool and thereby into the spatial experience themselves. The event represents a second key element of Switzerland’s presence at the quadrennial, the most important platform for scenography worldwide. 


Pro Helvetia Communications


Acoustic waves in an indoor pool

Prague Quadrennial, running from 18 to 28 June, invites visitors to explore scenography as «Shared Space». The Swiss contribution – an installation on Wenceslas Square – triggers a change of perspective of the famous square. And a performance at Podolí swimming stadium comprising a concert by the bands Sunfast and OY sends waves around the pool that itself has a wave-like roof.  Photographs of these venues put together by Iren Stehli and Rishabh Kaul at Clam Gallas Palace invite visitors to reflect the issues in greater depth. And for all those who cannot make it to Prague, Haus für Kunst in Uri offers a walkabout installation created by the artist duo Lang/Baumann. Further details at www.prohelvetia.ch and www.hausfuerkunsturi.ch



Cultural projects in over 90 countries und 230 communities

In the past year, support by Pro Helvetia helped Swiss artists take part in or realise approximately 3,500 cultural events such as exhibitions, performances, tours and publications in over 90 countries throughout the world. At home, the Swiss Arts Council supported over 1,470 projects in 230 Swiss communities. The number of applications again rose slightly in 2014, whereas the ratio of applications granted was a little lower than in the year before at 48.4 percent. Amounting to 12.3 percent, administrative costs remained well below the threshold of 15 percent required by the Federal government. The 2014 annual report can be downloaded at www.prohelvetia.ch.



Cultural diversity throughout the land

With its «Kulturelle Vielfalt in den Regionen» (cultural diversity in non-urban regions) initiative, Pro Helvetia supports measures enabling a greater number of projects to be realised by cultural practitioners outside urban centres. Together with cantons and communities, Pro Helvetia has selected 12 projects for a partnership to be implemented from summer 2015. Including, for example, a residency programme in the valley of Verzasca (Ticino), multimedia reflections on architecture in Engadin and an analysis of art-based location marketing in Valais, they reveal various facets of arts and culture in non-urban regions. A symposium on crowdfunding will be held as a supplement to the individual projects. www.prohelvetia.ch

Collection Cahiers d’Artistes on global tour

The latest Collection Cahiers d’Artistes has been on tour since the end of May. With its «Cahiers» – artist monographs – Pro Helvetia supports aspiring artists by providing them with an initial publication to their name. The monographs are presented at exhibitions and other cultural events, including the New York and Tokyo Art Book Fairs. They can be seen in Switzerland at LISTE – held in parallel with Art Basel – from 15 to 21 June 2015. Simultaneously with the start of the tour, a new online platform was launched, accessible at www.cahiers.ch.


Art in an ocean of data

«Big Data» is one of the latest buzzwords of our times. In our increasingly data-dominated world, it not only poses challenges for society, science and politics, but also opens up new dimensions for art practitioners. The exhibition «Poetics and Politics of Data» at Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel, running until 30 August, explores some of the implications of big data for the worlds of art and culture. It includes a support programme with film nights and workshops – which might even allow you a time-out from your own smart phone. Details at www.hek.ch

At the interface of design and business

How can designers change businesses? How does a rebranding work? Questions such as these are at the heart of Design Day held today in parallel, for the second time, with the Swiss Design Awards at Messe Basel. Participants explore the various perspectives from which the topic «Design & Branding» can be approached. Design Day itself goes back to an initiative by four national players in the field of design promotion, Pro Helvetia, the Federal Office of Culture, Engagement Migros and Design Preis Schweiz. Further information at www.prohelvetia.ch.


Monologue in a labyrinth


A new production of Michael Jarrell’s musical theatre piece «Cassandre/Kassandra» is due to be performed by Comédie de Genève at the Festival d’Avignon on 22 July 2015. Renowned French actress Fanny Ardant plays the role of Cassandra, Namascae Lemanic Modern Ensemble perform the music. Director Hervé Loichemol has created a new interpretation of this «spoken opera», which is based on a novel by Christa Wolf. Opening up a labyrinth of emotions ranging from yearning to intimations of death, Fanny Ardant’s monologue brings to life this tragic female figure. Programme: www.festival-avignon.com

Experimenter Curators’ Hub in Calcutta

Experimenter Curators’ Hub has been held annually in Calcutta since 2011. It offers curators from all over the world an opportunity to meet up and discuss challenges, practical examples and future developments in the field of curatorial practice. Pro Helvetia New Delhi has been a partner to this event from the start. One of the participants at this year’s 5th edition will be Giovanni Carmine, Director of Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen. The Hub is scheduled for 23 to 25 July 2015. www.experimenter.in

Liaison of music and literature

The «Jazz à Vienne» festival brings together lovers of both music and literature, since the event in Vienne (France) stages both jazz concerts and readings. The festival is held under the motto «Lettres sur cour» and Switzerland is this year’s guest country. Authors from different linguistic regions in Switzerland, including Denis Cuniot, Noëlle Revaz and Jens Steiner, have been invited to read from their works. The readings will, naturally, be underscored by music. www.jazzavienne.com

All facets of stage art

Twelve young stage practitioners from Switzerland, the rest of Europe and overseas – actors, actresses, stage directors, choreographers, dramaturges – have invited to take part in a seminar on stage art scheduled for 16 to 23 July at this year’s Avignon festival. They will be offered a rich programme of performances, discussions, encounters with renowned theatre practitioners and more. This year’s partners of the programme, which was jointly launched by Pro Helvetia and Festival d’Avignon, are MiBACT – Direzione generale per lo spettacolo dal vivo, the Arts and Theatre Institute Prague, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Arte Joven biennial of Buenos Aires. Further information at www.festival-avignon.com

Gaming your way into new markets

The #SwissGames delegation plans to stir up the Gamescom event in Cologne this year. Fifteen studios have been selected to represent Swiss game design at the world’s largest trade fair for interactive games. They will be able to present their innovations there, forge new contacts and position themselves in the international market. The #SwissGames delegation is backed by Pro Helvetia in collaboration with the game festival «Ludicious», the City of Zurich, the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD) and the Zurich University of the Arts. Gamscom is due to run from 5 to 9 August 2015. Details at www.gamescom-cologne.com


Boost for up-and-coming jazz bands

Under the heading of «High priority jazz promotion», Pro Helvetia works out multi-year support agreements with emerging Swiss jazz bands. This provides the bands with greater security in the planning of their international tours and also reduces their administrative burden. Eligible for support are bands that are at the beginning of an international career and have already made a name for themselves in the Swiss jazz scene. Applications – online only – for high priority jazz promotion can be submitted up to 1 September 2015. See www.prohelvetia.ch


Crossing borders

The latest edition of the cultural magazine «Passages» contains a collection of contributions on various cross-border experiences – a truly limitless topic. The articles are about crossing linguistic borders, crossing the border of what is acceptable, erasing borderlines between stage and audience, between science and art, and more. They include a text by Pedro Lenz, an interview with Richard Sennett and a forecast regarding the future of film as a medium. The edition can be accessed 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.