Blog, Blog 2023, TC 2023

Phase 1: The Rose (2023) -Zurich

Installation and sound composition

About Phase 1 in Zurich

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.

The installation “The rose” created an illusionary space for visitors, where they imagine themselves traveling between different realities. It dealt with the sense of cultural distance and alienation that emerges from different individual realities and social surroundings. Laris BÄUCKER, Jamira ESTRADA, Jing HAN and Anh PHUONG created an interconnected experience of space and sound. A complex structure of fabrics and wool threads that moved parallel to each other, intertwined and strung together, creating an embodied sensation of entanglement configured the visual part of “The rose”. The auditory part was a musical arrangement of three poems in different languages. Laying under “The rose” wearing headphones and emerging themselves in the fragmented construction of musical arrangement and poems the visitors could observe the suspended sculpture and move on the threshold of several realities and perceptions. 
The work emphasized different levels of realities, that sometimes may connect or show as diametrically opposed daily lives. Protection here meant both respecting and understanding each other’s levels of reality, but it also meant to unsettle boundaries, find empathy, and even cherish conflict at certain moments.
The group’s motivation for this work came from the urge to dive into each other’s different realities. A collective approach, individual moments and patience were crucial parts of their working process.