Online Talk: Entangled Histories. Berta Rahm Pavilion for the Saffa 58
April 13, 2021 18:00

Opening of the second chapter Entangled Histories on Tuesday, 13 April 2021 at 6pm
Introducing photographic works by Clara Richard and Nicolò Krättli and the Growing Library

The recording of the talk is accessible to watch on the ETH video portal.

With introductions by Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen; the curatorial team Milena Buchwalder, Sonja Flury, Dorothee Hahn and Larissa Müller
Presentations by Emilie Appercé and Helen Thomas (Women Writing Architecture)
And a round table with Emilie Appercé, Nicolò Krättli, Clara Richard, Helen Thomas and Barbara Thüler 

When the Saffa 58 closed its doors and the small silvery pavilion seemed to have reached its end, Berta Rahm managed to sell the demountable structure to mushroom farmer Erica Hauser. At her farm in Gossau ZH, Hauser re-built the pavilion as a freestanding structure next to her production facilities to use it as a canteen for her workers. Later it was connected to the production building and converted into a show kitchen for clients and guests. For over 60 years the pavilion’s existence was entangled with the mushroom factory and the functionality of demonstrating its production process.

Mushrooms are curious things. They are not animals or plants, deserving their own taxonomic category. They enjoy the title of largest living specimen ever found, and they are made up of tiny threads called mycelium. These travel underground, connecting the roots of different plants, even different species, in an area together, allowing them to exchange nutrients and information that might be missing in their immediate surroundings. When it comes to feminist engagement, mushrooms can serve as both a metaphor and a model to describe and create networks, proposing a way of living and working together. Being connected with others means to learn from each other, to exchange ideas, to give and receive encouragement and to help each other grow across boundaries. Can a library be a facilitator and testing ground to rewrite history as non-hierarchical, associative and intertwined strands of knowledge? Is the model of mycelium-like connectivity specific to female networks? And what conditions do subterranean networks need to burst out above the surface?

This project is realised by the exhibition team Milena Buchwalder, Sonja Flury, Dorothee Hahn and Larissa Müllner on behalf of the ProSaffa1958-Pavillon Association, together with the directors of gta exhibitions Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen.

Contribution for Domus Magazine, October Issue 2020
Quanto vale la pena? / What is it worth?

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