Society and the Image

Zurich Modern
Seminar Week: October 21-25, 2019

Peter Fischli und David Weiss, Siedlungen, Agglomerationen, 1993

Compared to countries like Britain, with its intrenched social hierarchies, modernism was easily absorbed by Switzerland. Neutral and at the centre of Europe, it has provided sanctuary for both political and artistic exiles, creating a cultural fervent beyond the modest scale of the place. An early site of industrialisation, Switzerland and its largest city soon had a substantial and influential bourgeois population who were open to, and eager to engage with the most advanced forms of cultural production. This interest was matched by a parallel development of an academic competence, from Heinrich Wöfflin to Bice Curiger, from Sigfried Giedion to Hans Ulrich Obrist. Today the artists, collections and discourses about modern and contemporary art in Zurich continue to be challenging and relevant.

We will spend our week meeting with the people who are a part of this vital aspect of Zurich cultural life. We will make studio visits with established as well as with young artists. We will talk to gallerists, and to the people who are setting the agenda in the important public institutions, in art schools and museums. Our question to all of them will be; how and why modern art is still relevant today. Students participating in our seminar week will be actively be involved in the discussions and will produce a real-time diary to be shared within the group and beyond.

 The seminar week is closely related to the themes of the design studio and we encourage students to enrol in both.

The costs are approximately 50-250 CHF including Transportation, 1 Dinner, Entrances, Guides and Reader.

Category A, 16 students

Professor Adam Caruso

Assistants: Emilie Appercé, Martina Bischof Benjamin Groothuijse, Claudio Schneider, Kai Zipse