in Curating, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Solo Show (Bank Secret)
2 May 2015
Helvetiaplatz/Credit Suisse, Zurich
The artist Marlene Haring (b. 1978, Vienna, lives and works in London) was invited to Zurich to give a performance of her work Solo Show—a bar for one guest only.
The performance took place in a pop-up restaurant on Saturday, May 2 in Zurich. The restaurant is located in a former, now closed branch of Credit Suisse bank on Helvetia Platz. The restaurant can accommodate around 100 persons. The restaurant is staffed by young Zurich artists and those involved in culture. The idea behind the restaurant comes from Sami Khouri, who has already organized the Boxclub, the Lift and the Magazin restaurants.
The guests/visitors enter the restaurant and in the back room discover a black curtain with a doorman standing in front. The explanation: “only one guest at a time”! The visitors stand in line. Each guest spends between 15 and 30 minutes in the bar. What is going on in there? What is expected of me? Some people change their mind and withdraw: “I don’t want to do it. It’s too intimate, too personal for me.” Others await their turn with excitement tinged with tension. The reactions of some of the visitors can be found below.
Visitors to a restaurant have a clear idea of what to expect. The convention is clear: the guest arrives, is served, eats and drinks, pays and leaves.
Marlene Haring’s performance is concerned with calling this understanding and this clear allocation of roles into question. With creating confusion. It is about the field of tension between our expectation and our experience. How do we look at or experience art today? What does art trigger in me? How does it move me? In her work, Haring reflects on the question of social proximity and distance in contemporary society in a very striking manner.
“Seriously rare whisky, worth the wait.” “… don’t tell too many of your friends,…” “Felt like I’ve been there before, about 3am.” “The best bank secret in town!”