On the recommendation of a jury, Pro Helvetia selected eight artists from over 100 submissions for the 2023 edition of Cahiers d’Artistes.
Selection criteria included regular exhibitions across Switzerland’s language regions and a body of work representing an outstanding artistic practice. The Cahiers are the selected artists’ first monographic publication.
The successful candidates were free to design their artistic monograph and 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 are designed in diverse looks and feels.
Patricia Bucher *1976 Aarau,
lives and works in Zurich and Berlin
“How birds can keep you from marrying the wrong person”
260 x 260 mm
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, the artist has created an extensive body of work that explores fundamental semiological questions. She works with different materials and techniques such as installation, architecture, object, collage, painting, drawing or texts. Patricia Bucher’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.
Patricia Bucher’s Cahier, entitled “How birds can keep you from marrying the wrong person”, presents her unique visual language. The book showcases her sculptures, which consist of simple, mostly orthogonal contours and sometimes contain an oblique at a 45-degree angle. Her chosen proportions provoke, breaking accepted architectural norms and taking them ad absurdum. The publication plays with the disrupted perception of proportions in her work. It consists of three parts: Part I presents the sculptures that Patricia Bucher has shown at exhibits in recent years. Part II includes a text by Claudius Fruehauf, the index and the imprint. Part III is dedicated to Patricia Bucher’s drawings.
The publication “How birds can keep you from marrying the wrong person” offers a fascinating glimpse into Patricia Bucher’s works, inviting readers to grapple with the unconventional dimensions of her sculptures and drawings.
Claudius Fruehauf (Lausanne) wrote the text for Patricia Bucher’s Cahier. He holds a degree in Architecture from ETH Zurich (2007). In 2008, he founded the architectural firm FHV Architekten – FRUEHAUF, HENRY & VILADOMS – in Lausanne. Previously, he worked as an assistant scenographer for Herzog & de Meuron in 2005–2006 and 2009–2010. In 2008, he worked as an architect for architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron in Basel.
Martin Chramosta *1982 Zurich,
lives and works in Basel and Vienna
150 x 200 mm
Martin Chramosta studied at Basel Academy of Art and Design and Vienna University of Applied Arts. He works mostly with the mediums of sculpture, drawing and performance. In his work, Chramosta examines the contemporary value and social relevance of historical forms. Drawing on this inspiration, he uses a variety of media to create material and non-material assemblages, often working with found items and objects or forming them from clay, wax or plaster. Important references for his work include the aesthetics (and materials) of real socialism, historical architecture and heraldry.
In his Cahier, entitled “Hotel Europa”, Martin Chramosta presents an impressive collection of photographs. The approximately 300-page book contains images that Martin Chramosta collected over the last five years as photographic sketches and notes. They document objects, moments and monuments, providing a fascinating glimpse into his work process. The selection of images conveys stories about work and travel, locations and spaces. Using the language of photography, Martin Chramosta invites readers to take a deep dive into his world and creation process. The photographs stand out for their clarity, their aesthetic composition and their ability to capture the essence of the places and objects depicted in them.
The publication contains a short story by Ann-Kathrin Eickhoff, written following a conversation with the artist about Los Angeles, Rome, art in public spaces, hotels and writers. The story complements the visual impressions and creates a resonant space for Chramosta’s images.
Ann-Kathrin Eickhoff (*1990, lives and works in Zurich and Berlin), who wrote the text contribution for Martin Chramosta’s cahier, is an author, curator, and currently artistic co-director of Halle für Kunst Lüneburg. Previously, she worked as a curator at the Kunstverein Nürnberg as well as for the online magazine for art criticism Brand-New-Life and at the ETH Zurich, where she also studied.
Maria Guta *1983 Bucharest,
lives and works in Neuchâtel and Geneva
“Loneliness Beside The Swimming Pool”
232 x 300 mm
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. Maria Guta’s work explores the mechanisms of producing and representing the self in the digital age, especially the construction of online personas as a strategic means of creating a private and public identity. She is particularly interested in ideals of beauty, immortality and the phenomenon of fame. The main influences on her work and aesthetics include American cinema, reality TV and pop culture.
Lola Lane, Maria Guta’s alter ego, has appeared in a variety of roles in the past few years. Previously, these transformations took place primarily on social media or in video and performance projects. For her Cahier, entitled “Loneliness Beside The Swimming Pool”, the artist tried to reassemble her old collection of cinema magazines and books, from which she scanned a large number of pictures. She then digitally manipulated the scanned images by replacing all the existing faces with her own, and finally reprinted everything in order to create a series of analog collages.
Within this compulsive collection of images, spread across 180 pages and resembling a fan-book, Lola Lane morphs into a significant number of celebrities and fictional characters spanning the past 100 years. The publication is also an artistic homage to the little-known actress Lola Lane and the pop culture that fuelled Maria Guta’s imagination since her early childhood.
Geneva-based artist and writer Fabienne Radi wrote the text for Maria Guta’s Cahier. In perfect harmony with the visual collages, she skilfully crafted a cut-up of texts that take us on a whirlwind tour of Lola Lane’s multiple lives. It’s like a compressed showcase of stars and “it girls” spanning the 1920s to 2020, from Joan Crawford to Britney Spears, with detours through the lives of Frances Farmer, Pamela Des Barres, Anna-Nicole Smith, and other intriguing characters who’ve experienced their fair share of decadence, tragedy, and roller-coaster journeys.
Thomas Julier *1983 Brig,
lives and works in Zurich and Brig
“Just a Few Drops Down the Hatch”
210 x 270 mm
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. Thomas Julier frequently works with specific places and contexts, examining social, media and historical phenomena. In his Cahier, entitled “Just a Few Drops Down the Hatch”, Thomas Julier showcases photographs that he took between 2014 and 2023. It presents moments captured in Rome, Palermo and Paris in reverse chronological order, beginning with the cover: building façades, landscapes, shop windows, billboards, signs, statues, crows or mannequins. These images are no fleeting snapshots – they testify to his sharp observation and technical precision.
The publication also presents thematically grouped slogans from T-shirts printed by Thomas Julier. Collected over a period of many years, they break up the photography pages at irregular intervals. The slogans open up an additional level of reflection on language and visual forms of expression. A prelude and a text by Roman Selim Khereddine complete and contextualise Thomas Julier’s work. They provide insights into his artistic approach and allow the reader to engage more deeply with his photographic works.
The mix of photographs, T-shirt slogans and accompanying texts creates a multifaceted whole that is representative of Thomas Julier’s work.
Roman Selim Khereddine (Zurich), who wrote the text for Thomas Julier’s Cahier, is an artist and art critic. Before completing his Master’s in Fine Arts at Zurich University of the Arts (2020), he earned his Bachelor’s in Islamic Studies and History (2010–2013) and a Master’s degree in Arabic and Turkish (2013–2016) at the University of Zurich. His works are on display throughout Switzerland and abroad, and he regularly publishes articles on contemporary art.
David Knuckey *1985,
lives and works in Geneva and Zurich
240 x 320 mm
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 artistic work strives to blur the boundary between abstraction and representation. David Knuckey makes use of images and everyday objects, which he then transforms. Reduced to their essence, the resulting objects and images often seem to have lost their original purpose.
His Cahier d’Artiste, entitled “SOUP/SUP”, presents a diverse collection of photos from his exhibits and his studio as well as sketches and notes. The images from his personal archive enter into dialogue with one other in the publication, flowing from one page into the next and reappearing surprisingly later. The content, compact and dense, is counterbalanced by blank pages. The format and design lend the book a magazine-like quality that conveys a certain ease, lightness and spontaneity. The content focuses on David Knuckey’s artistic practice, his work process (with sketches and notes) and his work in the studio.
The text for David Knuckey’s Cahier d’Artiste was written by curator Judith Welter (Zurich). Judith Welter studied art history, Spanish literature and religious studies at the University of Bern. She completed her doctoral dissertation in 2014 on the role of rumours and anecdotes in contemporary art. From 2015 to 2021, she was the Director of the Kunsthaus Glarus. From 2004 to 2015, she worked for the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art in Zurich, where she was the Collections Curator from 2012 on. Since 2016, she teaches at various universities and is the Director of Studies in the Master of Fine Arts programme at Zurich University of the Arts.
Rhona Mühlebach *1990 Zurich,
lives and works in Glasgow
“Obstacles for Cows”
257 x 364 mm
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 the Glasgow School of Art in 2017. Her work includes video, audio, text and installations. Rhona Mühlebach’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.
Rhona Mühlebach’s Cahier is entitled “Obstacles for Cows” and consists of eight music notebooks combined in one book. The scores presented in the ‘notebooks’ are based from her screenplays. She selected passages from dialogues and arranged them – following a graphic system similar to a notation – over multiple pages. The dialogues were also typographically adapted to the characters’ way of speaking, with notations added by composer William Aikman (Glasgow).
The publication format itself also evokes a music notebook, drawing readers into the eight scores and inviting them to reinterpret these scores.
Although Rhona Mühlebach’s Cahier d’Artiste originates from her films, the publication makes only sporadic visual references to them, through eight images. An essay by Chloë Reid appears throughout the publication on each ‘notebook covers’, tying the whole together. Chloë Reid (Johannesburg) is an artist, author and curator. Her main interests include the everyday life’s sociology and the relationships between reading, writing and artistic practice. She holds a BFA (2011) from the Cape Town School of Fine Art and an MFA (2017) from the Glasgow School of Art.
Gabriel Stöckli *1991 Mendrisio,
lives and works in Lugano and Milan
250 x 355 mm
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 Stöckli creates his sculptural works from simple materials and ready-mades and presents them in an experimental style typical of the DIY age. The artist’s works explore the loss of a shared societal horizon of meaning. Questions of time and transience inform his choice of forms, actions and objects throughout his work. His preoccupation with an uncertain future drives his search for a sense of community and for tools enabling us to live in the here and now.
The centrepiece of Gabriel Stöckli’s Cahier d’Artiste, entitled “Cuori”, is a captivating conversation between the artist and the author Stella Succi. The book presents their conversation over 56 pages, enriched with visual interventions by Gabriel Stöckli. In addition to the conversation, the publication also includes a selection of illustrations from the renowned Italian weekly magazine La Settimana Enigmistica, which Gabriel Stöckli has arranged into new collages.
Stella Succi (Milan) is an art historian and independent researcher. She has served on the editorial teams of Alfabeta2, Mousse Magazine, The Towner, and Prismo, and is currently the coordinator of Tascabile. She is a member of Altalena, an interdisciplinary research group in the visual arts field. Since 2020, she has been conducting dramaturgical research together with dancer and choreographer Annamaria Ajmone.
Eva Zornio *1987 Arlesheim,
lives and works in Geneva
“Who are you performing today?”
210 x 260 mm
160 pages (Japanese binding)
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 artistic work includes installations, performances and videos. Influenced by her background in biology, and by her fascination with life sciences, she explores social realities, works with embodied microfictions and evokes affects.
Eva Zornio’s Cahier d’Artiste, entitled “Who are you performing today?”, is based on the answers to a survey, ‘Affective evaluation’, that she collected during the Backslash Festival in Zurich in 2022. The four questions that she posed to the audience and their corresponding answers established the book’s structure. Interspersed with excerpts from the survey is a conversation with Lucie Kolb, specially conducted for the Cahier d’Artiste. Eva Zornio conceived her monograph as an ‘empathetic book’, and this is reflected in its paper, format, weight and colour choices.
“Who are you performing today?” does not only provide answers, as its link to the survey might suggest, but it also poses questions to the readers and invites them to explore the various facets of their identity.
Lucie Kolb (Basel) is a critic and author. She earned her doctorate in 2017 at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, writing her thesis on the strategies of art publications since 1960. Recent publications include ‘Der radikale Katalog’ (Fabrikzeitung, 2021) and ‘Artwork as Institution. Stephen Willats’ (BNL, 2019) as editor, and ‘Study, Not Critique’ (transversal texts, 2018) as author. She conducts research at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design’s Critical Media Lab in Basel, teaches in the BA in Fine Arts programme at Zurich University of the Arts, and is co-editor of the online art criticism magazine Brand-New-Life.
Discover more on the 2023 artists and their artistic practices on the curated platform theartists.net.
The 2023 edition marked the end of the Cahiers d’Artistes. Pro Helvetia launched them in 1984, and taken as a whole, the Cahiers offer an extensive view of Swiss arts production over the past 39 years.
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. From 2015 to 2021, the design of the Cahiers has been in the hands of the graphic design studio Bonbon in Zurich. The 2023 edition was designed and published by Jungle Books.
- Valérie Knoll, curator, former director of the Kunsthalle Bern
- Zilla Leutenegger, artist, Zurich
- Andrea Marioni, artist, Biel
- Sylvain Menétrey, curator, Geneva