Each month, the Helvetico-Yemenite curator Mohamed Almusibli presents a selection of digital works recently produced by Swiss artists or artists living and working in Switzerland in the Works section on the 5th floor. At the end of a year of programming, a panorama of the territories and forms emerging from the Swiss art scene in all its diversity will thus be drawn up.
Program presented with the support of Pro Helvetia.
I’m Tiny is a video clip of a song produced by a tiny being. An attempt to cut short a discussion that didn’t need to be had in the first place.
Nelson Schaub (born in 1995, Geneva) lives and works in Geneva. He trained at the WORK.MASTER at HEAD – Geneva. His work focuses on mainstream cultural products, from their production, through their consumption to their reappropriation. Through these references, he explores themes such as the means of performing femininity, the loneliness of marginalized people, creativity as an escape, and the notions of wrong or right. Through performance, digital drawing, clothing design and music (under the pseudo Maitre Peintre), he creates strange narrations where multiple personalities and characters cross.
THE LIBRARY IS OPEN
The film THE LIBRARY IS OPEN examines the outcome of physical and mental violence along hate crime. The aim is to recycle negative thoughts and emotions into elevating energy. Moreover, it questions the access to knowledge, form of individual education connected to one’s own background and human development. By touching the metaphor of a “silent book” it states the interruption of the knowledge enhancement and further education. Looking through violet glasses the world might appear differently and awakes a dream side of oneself. Dream and reality blurs into each other and elevate a new state of being.
Miruh Frutiger (b. 1996, Switzerland) is an art historian and artist who lives and works between Berlin and Zurich. His focus is on contemporary art imbedded in our daily life and the impact it has on us.
Ex Amore Vita (Daburka)
This film is part of a multi-layered video series titled Ex Amore Vita, which revolves around memories of diasporic weddings in the early years of the millennium. The project explores the subtle spatial politics of these celebrations, where both gatherings and gender divisions coexist. In the Assyrian diaspora, where the artist grew up, these marriages are highly symbolic. This small and scattered indigenous group depends on safe places to hold these events. Despite their fragility, these communities are held together by these gatherings, which celebrate not only a union, but also the promise of resilience it represents for the community. This series highlights these safe spaces, and the microcosm of the bathroom – a safe place for women to talk, smoke, or relax in complete freedom. In parallel, Ex Amore Vita also celebrates the spaces of subaltern sisterhood that are emerging in the Swiss art world, their dynamism in terms of collective creativity and the lack of competitiveness in a system that is still predominantly male dominated.
In Darbuka, an excerpt from the series, a Darbuka player (Armen Ohanian, Shamiran’s cousin) plays a series of rhythms on the drum while a text presents 10 steps on “How to be a boss” taken from an online “men’s forum”. The piece explores expectations and performances of contemporary masculinity within diaspora communities, with a tension established between the macho aspirations of the “10 steps” and the almost tender drumming of the player whose feelings are not expressed.
Shamiran Istifan (b.1987, Switzerland) is a visual artist based in Zurich. Her first motivation to tell stories originated from growing up in a so-called cultural enclave of an ethnic minority where a two-worlds-system was formed for her and her generation. Istifan’s art practice focuses on the different layers of social dynamics, motivated by her personal experience on collectivism, social class, religion, gender roles, relationships, power and politics. By the intimate aesthetics that permeate her work, she points symbolism from daily life.