Shared Projects

New Social Sculptures 3: Public Faculty No 7 (Zurich)

Public Space: Helvetia Place Zurich

1 June–4 June 2013
Jeanne van Heeswijk

The Postgraduate Programme in Curating ZHdK, in cooperation with Jeanne van Heeswijk, presents the 7th installment of the Public Faculty series in Zurich. In this edition, the series comes to “Europe’s Landlocked Island” of Switzerland to question the idea of borders, as well as notions requisite for the enforcement of this idea, such as security, solidarity, and compliance.

Switzerland has a history of strong borders and an established tradition of civil defense to enforce it. But what does that mean now in the 21st century, when borders have become virtual as well as physical? What is it that needs protection? People? Assets? Institutions? And what does that need protection from? War? Global crises? Science? The Internet? Have existing measures of Civil Defense become merely symbolic, only an image we need to feel secure?  In this age of civil airplanes as terrorist weapons, what are we willing to give up for our protection? Liquids? Swiss-Army knives? Shoes? Underwear? How about civil liberty? Privacy? Minarets? How far are we willing to comply? Is protection ultimately a self-inflicted trap? How about the other venerated Swiss traditions of neutrality and diplomacy? Are they not more relevant than ever before? Is there not strength in communities? Is protection not built on solidarity?

We’re sure you have something to say. Or ask. So come down and talk. Or listen. Whichever way you do it, make sure you grab the chance to contribute to this Public Faculty!

About the Location
The Public Faculty will take place at between Helvetiaplatz and the Kanzleiareal in Zurich where many segments of the public are to be found. Public demonstrations in Zurich originate there and, according to the city-tourism website, it is “Zürich’s multicultural quarter”. Interestingly, the area also happens to sit on top of one of the main bunkers in the city.

About Jeanne van Heeswijk
Jeanne van Heeswijk is a visual artist who creates contexts for interaction in public spaces. Her projects distinguish themselves through a strong social involvement. With her work Van Heeswijk stimulates and develops cultural production and creates new public (meeting-)spaces or remodels existing ones. To achieve this she often works closely with artists, designers, architects, software developers, shopkeepers, governments and citizens. She regularly lectures on topics such as urban renewal, participation and cultural production. She was awarded the 2011 Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change and the 2012 Curry Stone Design Prize for Social Design Pioneers.