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Alain Berset opens Swiss Pavilion in Venice

Federal Councillor Alain Berset officially opened the Swiss Pavilion at the 56th Venice Art Biennale this afternoon. The Pavilion hosts the exhibition «Our Product» by 36-year-old Swiss artist Pamela Rosenkranz. Alain Berset will also be performing the opening of «Salon Suisse» at Palazzo Trevisan on 9 May. «Salon Suisse» is Switzerland’s official support programme, illustrating for international art audiences the undiminished appeal of the Dada movement, which began in Zurich in 1916.

Swiss Federal Councillor and Minister of Home Affairs Alain Berset was at «Giardini» in Venice this afternoon to officially open the Swiss Pavilion for the 56th Art Biennale of Venice, one of the most important platforms for contemporary art worldwide. The Pavilion’s content was created by Swiss artist Pamela Rosenkranz, born in Altdorf in 1979. With her exhibition entitled «Our Product», she invites visitors to reflect on a growing loss of autonomy regarding our own body in view of consumer culture, sports craze, plastic surgery and digital immortality, leading to the ultimate question of what it means to be human. The human body is increasingly perceived as «material» that can be formed in accordance with social norms and preferences. «The Swiss biennale jury was impressed by the highly topical way in which the artist deals with the subject matter, also taking into account the internet’s impact on research and knowledge acquisition», says Marianne Burki, Head of Visual Arts at the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and responsible for Switzerland’s presence at biennials. For her exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion, Pamela Rosenkranz designed a bowl that fills the room and contains skin-coloured liquid set in slight, wave-like motion. This is supplemented by computer-generated sounds and a perfume created specifically for the exhibition by a perfume maker in Paris and emanated into the room by an evaporator. All this ensures that different senses are appealed to simultaneously. The show is curated by Susanne Pfeffer, Director of Fridericianum in Kassel (Germany).

Series of Dada-related events

On Saturday, 9 May, Federal Councillor Alain Berset will open «Salon Suisse», the support programme to Switzerland’s main exhibition at the Venice Art Biennale. Through the programme’s entire run, from 9 May to 22 November, Pro Helvetia will be sending the signal «S.O.S. DADA – The World Is A Mess» from the «Salon» at Palazzo Trevisan out into the world. Inside the «Salon», Stefan Zweifel and Juri Steiner will be joined by guests at five weekends to explore the ageless appeal of the Dada movement, which was initiated in Zurich in 1916. By means of readings, performances and discussions, Zweifel and Steiner will navigate guests on a journey from ancient times to the present day, focussing – shortly before the Dada anniversary commences in 2016 – in particular on the ongoing attraction of the art form the movement represents.

In its fourth edition, «Salon Suisse», launched by Pro Helvetia in 2012 and located in the heart of Venice, again makes use of the biennale spotlight, which regularly attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, to enhance the international network of the Swiss arts scene. In a relaxed atmosphere, the «Salon» enables encounters between artists, experts, students and art lovers from all over the world.

Further information and high-resolution press images can be found at www.biennials.ch.

Media Relations:

Alexandra von Arx, Pro Helvetia Communication

Tel. +41 44 267 71 62, avonarx@prohelvetia.ch 

Peter Lauener, Spokesman of the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs

Tel. +41 79 650 12 34, peter.lauener@gs-edi.admin.ch 

Media Release of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 08/05/2015