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London Design Biennale 2018

Swiss Participation “Body of us” @ London Design Biennale 2018 © Stefan Schmidlin

Emotional States

Swiss participation
«Body of us»

4. – 23. 9. 2018
Somerset House, London (UK)

Contributors: Jamie Allen, Paul Boshears, Morgan Brown, Julia Freyhoff, Bernhard Garnicnig, Corinne Gisel, Fabian Harb, Nina Jaeger, Rebekka Kiesewetter, Kaja Kusztra, Vanessa Lorenzo, Matthias Maurer, Raphaëlle Mueller, Nina Paim, Lukas Popp, Fabian Ritzi, Maximilian Thoman, Kirsty White
Installation: Lorenzo Mueller, Raeuber&Stehler & Kaja Kusztra
Publication: continent.
Production manager London: Kirsty White
Website design: common-interest in collaboration with Dinamo
Website programming: Morgan Brown
Curator: Rebekka Kiesewetter

Initiated by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia in collaboration with Presence Switzerland and the Embassy of Switzerland in the UK.

Supported by the Swiss Cultural Fund UK.

Communication: MAY Concepts Ltd.

Media information: Lisa Stadler, Pro Helvetia,
+41 44 267 71 51, lstadler@prohelvetia.ch

From 4 to 23 September 2018 the second edition of the London Design Biennale will take place with up to 40 countries, cities and territories, that will exhibit at Somerset House in response to the theme Emotional States. Switzerland will present «Body of us» by curator Rebekka Kiesewetter. The London Design Biennale explores how design relates to many aspects of our lives – the way we live and how we live – our emotions, being and experiences.

Swiss contribution: Body of us

Curator Rebekka Kiesewetter has been nominated as person responsible for the  Swiss contribution to the Biennale. She and her team will present «Body of us» at Somerset-House, a project that deals with the design of friendly relationships as a fundamental element of human existence. People do not go through life as isolated beings. We exist and develop with and through relations with other humans, with the natural world, and with objects. Such webs of relationships can, however, also be exclusive. For every «we» or «us» implies a «they» or «them», from whom or which a distinction is drawn. The project «Body of us» illustrates this by means of an installation consisting of an outsized Petri dish with strains of bacteria, which originate from the members of the «Body of us» team and from the exhibition premises. Based on this living microcosm, visitors can observe the constantly evolving relations between humans and their environment. The project also comprises an audio installation, an online platform and a publication, inviting audiences to further reflect on the subject matter.



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Curator Rebekka Kiesewetter and the contributors to the exhibition «Body of us» have been working since November 2017 on the topic of friendly relationships as potentially emancipatory connections. We met them at the end of May, during one of their preparatory workshops at the Da Institute in Basel.


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With thanks to the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures FHNW HGK Basel, the Stadtwerkstatt Basel and Hackuarium Biohackerspace for their hospitality.