Visual Arts Specialist
With its Cahiers d’Artistes, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia enables emerging artists from Switzerland the publication of an initial artistic and 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 from different artistic disciplines, 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 and publishers Jungle Books 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.
The Swiss Arts Council launched the Cahiers d’Artistes in 1984. Taken as a whole, the Cahiers offer an extensive view of Swiss arts production over the past 35 years. To the archive.
Eight Cahiers d’Artistes of the following artists have been 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
Visual Arts Specialist
On the recommendation of a jury, in spring 2022 Pro Helvetia selected eight artists from over 100 submissions for the new edition of Cahiers d’Artistes, to be published in 2023. Selection criteria included regular exhibitions across Switzerland’s language regions and a body of work representing independent artistic practice. The Cahiers are the selected artists’ first monographic publication. The successful candidates are free to design their artistic monograph and will produce their booklet in close association with graphic artists Samuel Bänziger, Rosario Florio and Larissa Kasper (Jungle Books, a St Gallen-based publishing house and graphic design agency). The 2023 edition of Cahiers d’Artistes will be designed in diverse looks and feels. The artists and their artistic practices are also showcased on the curated platform TheArtists.net in order to gain wider international visibility.
Patricia Bucher *1976 Aarau, lives and works in Zurich and Berlin
Patricia Bucher holds degrees in fine arts from Zurich School of Art and Design (today’s Zurich University of the Arts) and the School of Visual Arts New York City. She has been working as a professional artist since 2001 and earned a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland in Basel in 2020. In recent years, Patricia has created an extensive body of work dedicated to construction, signs, semantics and language. She works with different materials and techniques such as installation, architecture, object, collage, painting, drawing or texts. Her works have been shown at national and international solo and group exhibitions.
Patricia’s work explores the definition, legibility and constructedness of signs and forms rooted in our collective memory. Her visual language refers to writing systems, pictograms and symbols ranging from hieroglyphics to video games. Blending these, she generates new forms of semiotic communication through processes of abstraction, variation, and translation.
«I hope that the specific conditions offered by this production (freedom in selecting works, close collaboration with a graphic designer, free choice of authors) will produce a publication that will open up a new approach to my work for me and will capture the essence of my work in an unconventional, consolidated manner, enabling it to be read in a new, documentary-artistic form.»
Patricia Bucher © Ladina Bischof, Eric Tschernow, Peter Baracchi, Patricia Bucher
Martin Chramosta *1982 Zurich, lives and works in Basel and Vienna
Martin Chramosta studied at Basel Academy of Art and Design and Vienna University of Applied Arts. Spanning sculpture, drawing and performance, his work has been exhibited in Switzerland and abroad.
Martin’s work examines the contemporary value and social relevance of historical forms, from which he creates material and ideal assemblages that crystallise in various media. He often produces collages from found materials or from clay, wax or plaster. Important references for his work include the works, materials and aesthetics of diverse contexts, including reform movements, actually existing socialism, public art, architecture, historicism, topography and heraldry.
«Despite the mantra of transdisciplinarity, there is surprisingly little exchange across the boundaries of cultural production, perhaps due to the over-professionalisation of art, literature, theatre, etc…. . I would be delighted if my Cahier could interweave some of these fields, for example, art and literature, and that it will also make exciting reading.»
Martin Chramosta © Florian Raidt
Maria Guta *1983 Bucharest, lives and works in Neuchâtel and Geneva
Maria Guta holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Bucharest National University of Arts and a Master’s in Art Direction from the École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL). Positioning herself behind and in front of the camera, she uses photography, video, performance and immersive and social media. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad.
Maria’s work explores the mechanisms of producing and representing the self in the digital age, as well as the construction of an online persona as a strategic means of creating a private and public identity. She is particularly interested in ideals of beauty, immortality or fame. The main influences on her work and aesthetics include American cinema, reality TV and pop culture.
«Most of my work so far has been framed as «new-media», digital, or performative, and has mainly been displayed on screens or in front of live audiences. Having the opportunity to create and show images on paper, and to turn my work into a tangible object, is something new and very precious to me, even more so as lately I feel tempted to distance myself from everything digital.»
Maria Guta © Maria Guta, Lauren Huret
Thomas Julier *1983 Brig, lives and works in Zurich and Brig
Thomas Julier earned his Bachelor’s degree in Photography (2009) and his Master of Fine Arts (2013) at Zurich University of the Arts. His projects primarily involve photography, film, objects, software and language. His work has been shown in various solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad since 2008.
Thomas engages with social, media and historical phenomena. Central to his projects is a site- and context-specific approach to space and architecture.
«My contribution to «Cahiers d’Artistes» seeks to highlight the connections and relationships between existing and emerging projects. These projects explore relationships between humans, animals (especially birds) and contemporary technologies (especially photogrammetry and artificial intelligence).»
Thomas Julier © Thomas Julier
David Knuckey *1985 lives and works in Geneva and Zurich
David Knuckey studied at the Haute école d’art et de design Genève and at Zurich University of the Arts. His work consists mainly of paintings and sculptures, which he conceives as series. He uses diverse materials, including acrylic paints, wax, resin, PU foam, wood and plaster. His work has been exhibited in Switzerland and abroad.
David explores abstraction as part of our cultural heritage, as well as visual language in its various manifestations. His work strives to blur the boundary between abstraction and representation. He uses images and everyday objects, which he transforms by means of abstraction and reduction. Reduced to their essence, the resulting objects and images often seem to have lost their original purpose.
«This publication would be an opportunity to create a comprehensive overview of my work in a given format as my work is quite disparate and tends to take on diverse forms even though the subject-matters remain unchanged. I believe a publication such as this would help shed light on my intentions, my process of production, through the logic of continuity as this may not always be apparent at the outset for my output is often of a hidden nature, concealing appearance through abstraction.»
David Knuckey © David Knuckey
Rhona Mühlebach *1990 Zurich, lives and works in Glasgow
Rhona Mühlebach holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film from the École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL) and earned a Master of Fine Arts from Glasgow School of Art in 2017. Including video, audio, text and installations, her work has been shown at various national and international institutions and film festivals.
Rhona’s work is informed by her interest in relationships between humans, animals, plants and landscapes. She creates fantasies that expand our incomplete understanding of the world we live in through fiction and narratives. Emotional interpretation takes the place of rational evaluation. Her working method assumes that social and historical narratives are subject to constant and diverse (re)interpretations over time.
«The Cahier d’Artiste will allow the written elements of my practice to be approached through a different time frame. Text becomes dialogue in my videos, it is spoken or sung by performers. It exists within a set and limited time frame, by virtue of the video medium. Once expressed by a character, the text becomes a fleeting memory, an unarticulated blur within the overarching narrative.»
Rhona Mühlebach © Rhona Mühlebach
Gabriel Stöckli *1991 Mendrisio, lives and works in Lugano and Milan
After graduating from the Centro scolastico per le industrie artistiche in Lugano, Gabriel Stöckli earned a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Art and a Master’s degree in Visual Art and Curatorial Studies at La Nuova Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milan. Since 2014, he has also been co-director of the Lugano-based art space «Sonnenstube». Gabriel creates his sculptural works from simple materials and ready-mades and presents them in an experimental style typical of the DIY age. His work has been regularly exhibited in Switzerland and abroad since 2013.
Gabriel’s works explore the loss of the horizon of meaning. Questions of time and transience inform his choice of forms, actions and objects. The harshness and simplicity of his works convey a sense of uncertainty and insecurity. His preoccupation with an uncertain future drives his search for a sense of collectivity and for tools enabling us to live in the here and now.
«I find the Cahier a nice opportunity to reflect on my artistic practice, not least as this will appear in a new format, on paper. It’s also a great chance to work on such a highly reputed and well-known project with other professionals.»
Gabriel Stöckli © Gabriel Stöckli
Eva Zornio *1987 Arlesheim, lives and works in Geneva
After studying biology and earning a Master’s degree in neuroscience, Eva Zornio turned to art. In 2015, she completed a Master’s degree in contemporary artistic practice at the Haute école d’art et de design Genève. Her work, which includes installations, performances and videos, has been exhibited in Switzerland and abroad.
Influenced by her background in biology, and by her fascination with life, Eva’s work questions and debates contemporary scenarios and situations, plays with compositions and dissects interactions, in order to expose the underlying structures. She explores contemporary reality — along multiplying axes of vision and beyond dualisms. Her work centres on various key concepts, such as embodiment, affects, microfiction and networks.
«The opportunity to produce a publication that gives my work a new form, while constituting a critical and theoretical perspective, a multiplication of viewpoints as well as illumining manifold contexts, is now more than timely — both personally and professionally. A great admirer of collective intelligence, I am highly enthusiastic about collaborating on this project, of experiencing encounters and making discoveries, and of unfolding my practice through an editorial project that is yet to be developed.»
Eva Zornio © Eva Zornio
- Valérie Knoll, Curator, former director of the Kunsthalle Bern
- Zilla Leutenegger, artist, Zurich
- Andrea Marioni, artist, Biel
- Sylvain Menétrey, Curator, Geneva
The series VI-XV (from 2006 to 2021) can be ordered at Edizioni Periferia. Earlier series are mostly out of print; for further information please contact Sibilla Panzeri.
The archive 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.
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.