Visual Arts Specialist
With its Collection Cahiers d’Artistes, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia enables emerging Swiss artists the publication of an initial monographic publication and provides arts specialists and interested audiences with a window to current trends in the Swiss arts scene.
Every two years and based on the recommendation of a jury, Pro Helvetia selects eight artists who applied in response to a public call for applications. The ensuing publication is the result of close collaboration between the artist concerned, the author, the graphic designers, the publishers and Pro Helvetia.
Through its national and international networks and its direct contacts with institutions, Pro Helvetia distributes the Cahiers d’Artistes to curators and critics around the world. It also fosters debate on the topics of the publication at various public events.
The Swiss Arts Council launched the Collection Cahiers d’Artistes in 1984. Taken as a whole, the series offers an extensive view of Swiss arts production over the past 35 years.
All Cahiers d’Artistes can be accessed digitally via the archive. It includes publications by artists such as Fischli/Weiss (1985), Pipilotti Rist (1994), Valentin Carron (2004) and Claudia Comte (2014), and texts by critics such as Jean-Christophe Ammann (1986), Rein Wolfs (1999), Dorothea Strauss (2004) and Chris Kraus (2019). Around 160 Cahiers d’Artistes have been published to date. The website also contains a list with the names of all the artists who have published a Cahiers d’Artistes and the authors who wrote an accompanying text in the Cahiers.
These monographs were initially self-published. Towards the end of the 1990s, Lars Müller Publishers was commissioned with the publication, before the responsibility was assigned to Edizioni Periferia, Luzern/Poschiavo in 2006. The design of the Cahiers has been in the hands of the graphic design studio Bonbon in Zurich since 2015.
The series VI-XV (from 2006 to the present day) can be ordered at Edizioni Periferia. Earlier series are mostly out of print; for further information please contact Josiane Imhasly.
Eight Cahiers d’Artistes of the following artists are due to be published in June 2021:
Dorota Gawęda *1986 Lublin PL and Eglė Kulbokaitė *1987 Kaunas LT, living and working in Basel
Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė are avid readers. This is reflected by their long-term project called YOUNG GIRL READING GROUP, which was launched in 2013 and represented the starting point of their collaboration as a duo. According to author Jeppe Ugelvig, their art is like a station that broadcasts stories. The two artists draw from a variety of sources, yet they are increasingly moving away from Western academic discourse and closer to folklore and other popular sources (e.g. folkloric myths , stories about magical practices and court records documenting witch trials). Key topics of their practice include our relationship with nature and technology, and gender-related issues. With their multi-media works, which include performance, video, fragrances, installations, sculpture and photography, they offer audiences alternative forms of presentation and perception.
Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė, Cahier d’Artistes, 2021 © Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė / Bonbon / Pro Helvetia
Roman Gysin *1984 Möhlin, lives and works in Zürich
Roman Gysin derived inspiration for his Cahier d’Artistes from the design of fashion and interior design magazines, which is not surprising given his predilection for decoration and a camp aesthetic based on everyday culture and its exaggeration. In a playful way, he combines pictures showing his studio with views of his works and photographs that were taken by himself or from his collection. The motives and ornaments of the photographs enter into a fascinating dialogue with his own, skilfully hand-crafted works. In the accompanying text, Sylvain Menétrey explores the links of Gysin’s work to (post-)minimalism and queer aesthetics and explores the means by which the artist effortlessly dissolves the borders between highbrow and popular culture.
Roman Gysin, Cahier d’Artistes, 2021 © Roman Gysin / Bonbon / Pro Helvetia
Andreas Hochuli *1982 Zurich, lives and works in Geneva
In his Cahier d’Artistes, Andreas Hochuli presents a catalogue raisonné of his paintings to date. The digitally hung 131 pictures are presented as if by a gliding camera, which is in keeping with his work method involving digital conceptualisation and physical execution. Pictures of bodies are aligned with abstract forms and images of words (e.g. Wohnen, bauen denken [dwelling, building, thinking]). Hochuli is interested in people, their relations and identities, as well as in the current state and future development of society. His works contain references to sociology, music and the history of art. They explore signs and their cultural background, always with an element of humour and often also with a touch of melancholy. The publication is interspersed with texts by the artist, which together with his paintings enter into an associative dialogue with the poetic text written by Ingo Niermann.
Andreas Hochuli, Cahier d’Artistes, 2021 © Andreas Hochuli / Bonbon / Pro Helvetia
Sandra Knecht *1968, lives and works in Buus
Sandra Knecht is well-known for Immer wieder sonntags [Always on Sundays], her unique culinary creations and hosting at “Chnächt”, a barn that she transported from the Jura region to the banks of the Rhine in Basel. Her artistic cooking practice is at the heart of the Cahier d’Artistes and the text by Koyo Kouoh. This practice includes the preservation of her “homeland” as well as a quest for identity through fragrances and taste, hospitality and the exploration of the transformative potential of preparing food and eating together. The monograph also shows how Sandra Knecht uses photography, video, sculpture, and installation as means of processing and expressing key concerns of hers – responsibility, equality and transformation.
Sandra Knecht, Cahier d’Artistes, 2021 © Sandra Knecht / Bonbon / Pro Helvetia
Marie Matusz *1994 Toulouse, lives and works in Basel and Zurich
In her Cahier d’Artistes, Marie Matusz presents black-and-white photographs of her great-grandmother’s home, a richly decorated house containing countless reproductions of classical paintings. The year printed on the photos imply that they were taken in 1994 – a technical error that fascinates the artist. For she is not only interested in sociology and linguistics, but also in philosophy and questions regarding the dissolution of time and space. Other groups of works by Marie Matusz depicted in the Cahier d’Artistes deal with topics such as historical and contemporary power structures, nature and justice. Alan Longino describes the mood in her work with a term borrowed from Thomas Gray, leucocholy, meaning a “good easy sort of state”, a “white melancholy”. Terms with which Marie Matusz can identify.
Marie Matusz, Cahier d’Artistes, 2021 © Marie Matusz / Bonbon / Pro Helvetia
Noha Mokhtar *1987 Geneva, lives and works in Zurich and New York City
Inspired by ethnographical research methods, Noha Mokhtar’s artistic practice comprises photography, installation and objects. She explores ways in which spaces and objects interrelate with social and political themes and various manifestations of power. History, culture and domesticity are key terms in this context. A special focus of hers is on the influence that space and material objects of a specific environment exert on the enactment of social relations. In the Cahier d’Artistes, Mokhtar combines her own photographs with found images as well as with objects and short texts. Sarah Rifky’s essay offers methods for analysing Mokhtar’s work based on the following terms: fold, rotation, dream, pattern, glitter, cast, break, repetition, descent, dream, fold.
Noha Mokhtar, Cahier d’Artistes, 2021 © Noha Mokhtar / Bonbon / Pro Helvetia
Elena Montesinos *1971, lives and works in Geneva
Elena Montesinos is a cultural agitator in the best possible sense. She bubbles over with ideas for artistic or curatorial projects. These are not always realised, for a variety of reasons: because of exorbitant production costs, because they are rejected outright, because they are too unsettling, or simply because they are illegal. In her Cahier d’Artistes entitled UNRELEASED, 20 unpublished projects are given a literary staging by The Montesinos Foundation. The Cahier offers audiences a journey through Elena Montesinos’ world of fantasy, in which she can realise her activist and transformative potential without restriction. Because collaboration and a variety of voices are so important to her, she invited five of her companions (Samuel Gross, Eve-Marie Knoerle, Irène Languin, Luca Pattaroni and Claude-Hubert Tatot) to write a short text each about different aspects of her work (e.g. ecology and humour).
Elena Montesinos / The Montesinos Foundation, Cahier d’Artistes, 2021 © Elena Montesinos / Bonbon / Pro Helvetia
Ramaya Tegegne *1985 Geneva, lives and works in Geneva
Ramaya Tegegne spotlights mechanisms of dominance and power structures within culture by observing their economics, circulation and historical narratives. She creates performances and installations, and advocates alternative and fair economic practices in the world of arts with a campaign entitled Wages For Wages Against. The aim is to achieve better working conditions and appropriate remuneration for arts practitioners. Ramaya Tegegne’s Cahier d’Artiste presents an overview of her artistic and activist projects and discusses the economic conditions under which they were realised. The accompanying text by Chaédria LaBouvier places her work in contexts of activism, race and gender as well as mutual care (“We Are Each Other’s Business, We Are Each Other’s Harvest”).
Ramaya Tegegne, Cahier d’Artistes, 2021 © Ramaya Tegegne / Bonbon / Pro Helvetia
- Fanni Fetzer, Director of Kunstmuseum Luzern
- Luca Frei, Artist, Lugano/Malmö
- Samuel Leuenberger, Curator of SALTS and Art Parcours, Basel
- Denis Pernet, Associate Curator of Audemars Piguet Art Programme, Lausanne