Blog, Edition 2016, TC 2016

Toni Squats

Braining storming ideas of where we come from:

  • Family, travelling, overseas, self identity/cross identity, lifestyle living costs in Switzerland and HK.
  • Regina and Going stayed in Rutihaus in Zurich, which is not far from the largest occupied house called Koch Areal.
  • Initial plan was to interview people who lived in occupied houses, but realised it would require more in depth research and time restriction. Narrowing and brainstorming process was during our little meeting in a secret area in Toni-Areal where the space is quite ‘hidden’ and unknown. This initiated the idea to use the space of Toni Areal as a Haus in german for House and transform ‘hidden’ spaces, whilst conducting everyday activities.
  • The physical action of the squat was a idea produced from actual Chinese culture to use the physical position as a reference and a symbol of squatting.
  • The pose had to be consistent throughout all the hidden spaces.

Project exploration – Beyond Purity

„Toni Squats“ 

Location: Toni Areal, ZHdk, Zurich
Date: September 7, 2016
Squatters: Kay ZHANG Kai Ju, Going KUO Ying Hsiu, Regina HO Yee Man

Squatting is the action of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building, usually residential – that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use.

Word origin of Squat:

  • Ancient French, esquater/esquatir
  • 1788, “settler who occupies land without legal title.”
  • 1880, in reference to paupers or homeless people in uninhabited buildings.

In Zurich 2013, there is resistence against the tearing down of the squatted factory Binz. Notion of the movement: “We want to and we have to defend and preserve every alternative living space.”

Squatting is a resting position or posture where the weight of the body is on the feet (as with standing) but the knees and hips are bent. Squatting may be either:

  • full– known as full squat, deep squat, (sitting) on one’s haunches, (sitting) on one’s hunkers, hunkering, hunkering down or hunkerin’
  • partial– known as partial, standing, half, semi, parallel, shallow, intermediate, incomplete or monkey squat.

Among Chinese, Southeast Asian, and Eastern European adults, squatting often takes the place of sitting or standing.

Exploration activities

The scenes selected in the video represents the organic daily activities at home during a 7-day weekly cycle. In this squatting experiment, is Toni transformed from a public institutional space to a private community living space?

video + live performance

Let’s sleeping, drinking, singing, smoking, super konding, meditating, reading, hotpoting, blah blah blah

Welcome to our occupied haus!


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