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Alain Berset honours Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris

Pro Helvetia’s Centre Culturel Suisse, situated in the heart of the Marais district in Paris, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In a ceremonial act tonight, Federal Counsellor Alain Berset is due to open the jubilee production «PerformanceProcess», which presents Parisian audiences with highlights of Swiss performance art from the pioneers of the 1960s to the discoveries of today.

Pro Helvetia’s Centre Culturel Suisse in the Marais district of Paris is turning 30 this year. As part of the festivities, Swiss Federal Counsellor and Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs Alain Berset will be honouring the centre for its outstanding significance in connection with Switzerland’s international cultural exchange. He is also scheduled to open the associated event cycle named «PerformanceProcess». The Centre Culturel Suisse (CCS) is the Swiss Arts Council’s oldest office abroad. An exhibition or performance in Paris, the world’s leading art metropolis, engenders considerable renown for the artists concerned and can represent a major step in their career.

Swiss performance: from Jean Tinguely’s happenings to the present day

With «PerformanceProcess» the two directors of the CCS in Paris, Jean-Paul Felley and Olivier Kaeser, have developed a new format specifically for the jubilee event, combining exhibition and festival. Overall, 46 Swiss artists and groups from the fields of visual and performing arts will be showing works and documentation connected to performance over the coming three months. The list of participants contains several internationally renowned names, but also offers opportunities for coming across fresh talent. Among those taking part are dancer and choreographer La Ribot, who lives in Geneva, Kassel and Munich based artist Urs Lüthi, originally from Lucerne, and Roman Signer, a blasting artist from Eastern Switzerland. Lesser known names there to be discovered include Martina-Sofie Wildberger, Aldo Walker and Anna Winteler. Twelve art practitioners are provided with a monographic exhibition for a period of five days each. To start off, the series spotlights Jean Tinguely and his auto-destructive machines created in 1960. The spatial design of the rooms at the Paris centre for the «PerformanceProcess» project is a production of the Geneva-based architecture duo «Bureau A». And finally, graphic designer Ludovic Balland from Basel is there to set up an electronic work of reference in real time. (www.pprocess.ch).

Springboard for international careers

It takes extraordinary events to generate excitement in Paris. Yet this is what joint directors Jean-Paul Felley and Olivier Kaeser achieve time and again with their programmes at the CCS. Located on Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, one of the thoroughfares of the Marais district, the centre exerts a powerful appeal despite strong competition in the French capital, attracting over 40,000 visitors a year. It also cooperates closely with Parisian partners such as the popular «Nuit Blanche», the world-famous Centre Pompidou and the Musée Picasso.

Jubilee publication to mark 30th anniversary

After «PerformanceProcess» comes to a close at the end of the jubilee year, a publication will be issued on the role and the perception of the CCS during its 30 years of existence to date. Starting with the preparations in the late 1970s, the publication then presents an overview of the periods under directors Werner Düggelin (1988-1991), Daniel Jeannet (1991-2002), Michel Ritter (2003-2008) and Jean-Paul Felley and Olivier Kaeser (2008-today). Besides archive material, it features contributions on 30 art practitioners who left an indelible mark on the history of the CCS, written by 30 well-known authors.

Further information and high resolution press photographs at www.ccsparis.com 

Media information: Isabel Drews, Communication,

Tel. +41 44 267 71 51, idrews@prohelvetia.ch

Media Release of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 18 September 2015

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