About Phase 1 in Zurich 2023
This year, in 2023, the first phase of the Transcultural Collaboration (TC) program lasted four weeks and took place at the Zurich University of the Arts. Being presented with different input lectures around the topic of protection the TC-participants dealt with current challenges to democracies all around the world, the colonial legacies that persist in Switzerland, exchanged with several artists connecting their practice to an understanding of community and collaboration and did some local “field trips” around the city of Zurich. The participants shared their own artistic practices through different mediums such as performances, talks and meditation exercises. The time spent together was intense. Participants still had to get to know each other, a shared language and understanding had yet to be found,, common ground needed to be established, differences acknowledged, and one’s own place in the group needed to be found.
After two weeks of inputs, getting to know each other and discussing the possible guidelines for collaboration the participants got to work on smaller group projects during two weeks.
The works all connected over the topic of protection and found different ways to approach the questions of what protection actually means, which conditions create safety and when protection can tilt into over-protection and oppression.
The result of these collaborative works can be seen in the following.
Conceived by Leonie DITTLI, Esme Chuyi WANG, Xi Jie WANG, Lucia Salomé GRÄNICHER “Sleeping peels” invites the visitors to reflect their bodily experiences in a vulnerable state of rest centered around sleeping appliances such as medication and the mattress. The latter is a witness to all the bodies that have lied on it. It is the sight of dreams, emotions, and sweat. While sleeping you unburden your thoughts, anxieties and everything that is not seen under your daily shield of protection. Leaving you in a state of vulnerability that is rare but can also be taken advantage of. Right there the market steps in and promises you goods and methods to improve your sleep. Via monitoring and collecting data on your sleep cycle, via offering you the pharmaceutical tools to better protect your sleep?
“Sleeping peels” invited to lay, to trace, to smell. In front of a staged mattress one could find a pile of sleeping pills made out of chalk. The label of the mattress provided the visitors with instructions. It read: Take a pill, lay on the floor in your favorite sleeping position and trace your bodylines. While exhibiting the piece, more and more lines emerged on the floor and the piece slowly expanded into the room, taking up more space.
Along the working process the group used an iterative approach, following different ideas around the themes of sleep. By exploring different paths such as interviewing fellow TC-participants and playing with different materials the group was able to formulate their concept clearly after having to decide together on which “darlings” to dispatch.