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Silke Redolfi on Frauenleben in Graubünden

Finding out how women lived and still live in the Graubünden was the aim of a working group of women who got together several years ago to tackle the project Frauenleben in Graubünden (Women’s lives in Graubünden). A lot of material was collected, including 20 extensive interview transcripts, which are now stored at the Staatsarchiv […]

17 February, 2024

Efua Boakye on Bad Behaviour

Bad Behaviour consists of multiple short stories. Set in 80s New York, Gaitskill’s narratives capture the essence of the city through the way the characters interact with one another. Not only are the stories in the book about interpersonal relationships and how people treat each other, but the descriptions of the spaces that the characters […]

31 January, 2024

Ellis Woodman on Baggage

While renowned for her subsequent career as a broadcaster and newspaper editor, Janet Street-Porter spent two years as a student at the Architectural Association from 1965-67. The first volume of her autobiography Baggage: My Childhood (2004) offers a richly evocative description of the AA at a time of dramatic social and artistic upheaval. Her experiences […]

25 January, 2024

Nicolai Dinkel on Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

While exploring the Kunsthaus Zürich, I observed a recurring pattern within my group – each time we encountered a new entrance, we would come to a halt. Our guide would then share insights about the Kunsthaus or read aloud an article, adding an enriching layer to our visit. It intrigued me to realize the frequency […]

15 January, 2024

Che Facchin on Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

The Reading Circle started off with a separation of the attendees into groups. Every group would receive a certain perspective into the world of the Kunsthaus, all of which were then discussed collectively. The visit confirmed many opinions I had already had of highly institutionalized museums, like the atmosphere of tension or the high threshold […]

15 January, 2024

Fabian Güzelgün on Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

The rain was pouring while we were standing at the entry in front of the Kunsthaus. A well-needed canopy in our own hands, thanks to the colleagues who were prepared and brought an umbrella. We waited for the church bells to ring at 9 am and then ran inside, together with the other “kaffee schabracken” […]

15 January, 2024

Julian Merlo on Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

The Reading Circle at the Kunsthaus Zürich guided us through the highly contested art institution, a “box with only backsides” as it was described in the closing discussion. These “backsides” became even more apparent in our tour, led by (students impersonating) the cleaning team, an invisible workforce, operating out of hidden “backrooms” and closed doors, […]

15 January, 2024

Ladina Naegeli on Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

Arriving in front of the Kunsthaus the rain trickles on my head. There is no shelter, not even at the tram next to me. Why wouldn’t they make the entrance more comfortable? I’m sorted into a small group of 6 people, and I suspect some went to the wrong one. Our group is then led […]

15 January, 2024

Lukas Nussbaumer on Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

From accepted and unaccepted donations Opposite the Kunsthaus on Heimplatz is the Schauspielhaus Zurich: Pfauen. During the National Socialist era, it was the only free theatre stage in the German-speaking world. This made it a centre for German and Austrian actors who emigrated from their home countries, and thus it was also a centre of […]

15 January, 2024

Xiaoyu Yang on Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

Raindrops falling onto the pavement and bouncing off umbrellas. Sounds flood my ears; cars honking, the siren of an ambulance, the flickering of traffic lights and the voices of strangers as they pass us. My thoughts get muffled by the chaos of the crossing. As we stand in the rain, the concrete structure that is […]

15 January, 2024

Jonas Zimmermann on Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

Where is the place for protest? On the tour of the Kunsthaus Zürich, the guides presented us with quotes criticising the Kunsthaus. Criticism does not leave the Kunsthaus unscathed. It does not refuse to engage in discourse but tends to play a defensive and conservative role. The ground floor of the Moserbau currently houses an […]

15 January, 2024

Romina Züst on Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

Where is the space for protest? With this question in mind, we went on a journey through the Kunsthaus Zürich. From the small entrance area, through the gigantic foyer, up the steep staircase until we reached the Emil Bührle collection on the top floor. Walking through the exhibition gave me pause for thought. A businessman […]

15 January, 2024

Camilla Alves Nunes Köppel on The Triumphant Progress of Market Success

A discussion with a fellow student made me think that everything in this day and age is dependent on money. People set a price for all objects. Market players are given a decisive role in determining artistic value, thus linking the art world with the market world. The Reading Circle group represented this connection between […]

15 January, 2024

Dimitri Bleichenbacher on The Triumphant Progress of Market Success

How are artists trained today? What service do they provide? How much is an artwork worth? What is the market price? What is value? Why is ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts) no longer decentrally spread over the city of Zürich? Is Toni-Areal really the place where contemporary artists are educated? Why in an impermeable […]

15 January, 2024

Léa De Piccoli on The Triumphant Progress of Market Success

for the Reading Circle RaMPE Grand Opening, on the 8th of November 2023, at Löwenbräukunst, Limmatstrasse 268 & 270, 8005 Zürich   Andrea Fraser or the irony as a tool for “institutional critique”   „There is indeed much to suggest that in recent years, whether or not an artwork was considered artistically relevant depended to […]

15 January, 2024

Anna Rothstein on The Triumphant Progress of Market Success

I had a lot of fun at the Löwenbräu Reading Circle. The way they opened the imaginary exhibition made me think of all the real vernisages and openings I have been to. What drew my curiosity, was the hierarchy of all the different characters involved. Questions like “Who makes the most money?” or “What degree […]

15 January, 2024

Victoria Balmer, James Flaus, Wen Guan, Sophie Kalwa on Why Are People Being So Nice?

This group chat is the result of a reading circle performance within the context of Studio Caruso at ETH Zurich during the spring semester of 2022. By drafting an overly exciting email, a chat about why we are „being so nice“ started. During the discussion, the exact same medium which was criticized by Rosler, was […]

15 January, 2024

Jaehee Shin on Pippi Longstocking

Eight women: Helen, Emilie, Melinda, Natalia, Reem, Solange, Yagmür and myself, Jaehee, took part in the Erntezeit Workshop : Being a Stranger in Ennenda, Glarus in September 2023, at the headquarters of Tisch Zwei Verein. Some of the discussions held during the workshop were very intense and we focused a long time on the feelings […]

12 January, 2024

Raffaella Poletti on Autenticità e progetto

Almost 25 years after publishing her first book, L’architetto fuori di sé (1982), and more than 35 years since her first questions around self-awareness, Marta Lonzi uses a key word in the feminist lexicon, Authenticity, as a litmus test to reread the history of architecture in search of ethical connotations. Her book, Autenticità e progetto, […]

12 December, 2023

Raffaella Poletti on L’architetto fuori di sé

In the early months of 1982, at the height of Postmodernism, a very atypical book was published in Italy, which was L’architetto fuori di sé, by Marta Lonzi. This is a book on architecture, but published by a feminist publisher; it is a critique on the practice of architectural design at the time, but written […]

12 December, 2023

Jasmine Yu on Gender Space Architecture

Jane Rendell’s introductory writing to part two of the book Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction provides a feminist discourse on the intricate relations between gender and space. A series of multidisciplinary gender analyses are drawn upon to challenge the existing paradigm of classifying spaces according to the biological sex of its users (e.g. public […]

26 November, 2023

Mayyasah Akour on Women Architects and Modernism in India

Desai’s introduction to “Women Architects in India” encapsulates perfectly how similar the discourse of feminism in architecture is across the world. It is not particularly limited to the western world (although many of the regions that reveal a similar fight have in the past been colonized by a western entity). With certain contextual nuances in […]

25 November, 2023

Olivia Janiszewski on Suffrage City

In Cynthia Hammond’s text titled “Suffrage City: spatial knowledge and Suffrage Work in Bath, 1909-1913” written in 2013, she answers “how early twentieth-century feminists used the larger space of the city for their cause” (Hammond 133) in response to “the special nature of suffrage activism in Bath” (Hammond 134). Her goal was to understand how […]

24 November, 2023

Nuoya Fang on Domesticity, Gender, and Architecture

Lillian Chee’s chapter, “Domesticity, Gender, and Architecture” provides a rich analysis of the complex interplay between domesticity, gender, and architecture. The text engages with a variety of disciplines, historical examples, and contemporary perspectives to offer a nuanced understanding of the implications of domestic spaces in shaping and reflecting societal norms. One key aspect of Chee’s […]

24 November, 2023

Alexa Sharp on Conflicting Landscape Values

Rina Swentzell utilizes her childhood memories of school to illustrate the importance of place in a person’s development. Born into a Pueblo in Santa Clara, ones’ connection to the cosmos and the earth was considered vital. Her community consisted of a large courtyard building that was constructed of earthen materials by everyone in the Pueblo. […]

23 November, 2023

Erica Vinson on Preserving Women’s History in American Libraries

Abigail Van Slyck’s exploration of the library interior is a compelling description of the importance of women and women’s labour on the architectural interior and the structural barriers that continue to keep women’s narratives out of history. In On the Inside: Preserving Women’s History in American Libraries, Van Slyck advocates for preserving the interior and […]

23 November, 2023

Maria Lederer on Interiors: nineteenth-century essays

In a feminist review by Juliet Kinchen, “Interiors: nineteenth-century essays on the ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ room” unpacks the constraining gender normalities that existed in the Western world for users of the home. The author initially states that the home represents the “antithesis of public space” (Kinchen, 13), an environment in which women, the assigned decorators […]

21 November, 2023

Isabel Cano on Battle Lines: E.1027

Beatriz Colomina discusses the vandalism rendered by Le Corbusier on E. 1027, a house designed, built, and inhabited by the architect Eileen Gray. The author presents the degrees of Le Corbusier’s invasion on Gray’s architecture and identity and compares it to the traces of violence of the bullet marks left all over the walls of […]

20 November, 2023

Katia Broz on Room at the Top

Throughout architectural history, women were always in the background, many shadowed by their male coworkers or husbands. Just like Denise Scott Brown with Robert Venturi, incredibly talented female architects had major roles in contributing to great designs, but never received the recognition they deserved. In this text, Scott Brown advocates for the importance of accurately […]

20 November, 2023

Juliette Bélanger on Unforgetting Women Architects

In her 2016 book, Where Are the Women Architects? author Despina Stratigakos dedicates a chapter to ‘Unforgetting Women Architects: A Confrontation with History and Wikipedia.’ In this extensive work, Stratigakos, a writer, historian, and professor of architecture at the University at Buffalo, elucidates the challenges faced by women in the architectural profession. She explicitly identifies […]

16 November, 2023

Anastasia Jaffray on A Feminist Arcadian Landscape

[Joyce], you already are a great woman [architect]. In her reframing of Canadian artist Joyce Wieland’s work, feminist historian, and artist Cynthia Hammond challenges prior biography-based interpretations of Wieland’s oeuvre with analyses of four creative works: three paintings, read as self-portraits, and Beaver Lodge, the artist’s former studio and house at 497 Queen St. East, […]

15 November, 2023

Lisa Hadioui on Le Deuxième Sexe

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” (de Beauvoir, 1949) Simone de Beauvoir’s work as a pioneering feminist philosopher and writer is not lost on anyone. In her most famous contribution to feminist theory, “The Second Sex” published in 1949, she challenged traditional conceptions of gender by introducing the notion of “Woman as […]

15 November, 2023

Justine Valois on Conflicting Landscape Values

Swentzell addresses how the conflicting world views of the people of the Santa Clara pueblo and European settlers were reflected through their divergent relationship with landscape. Through lived experience of both spaces, she recalls the powerful connection between pueblo’s architecture and the land as well as the impact the Bureau of Indian Affairs school for […]

13 November, 2023

Claudia Ng on On The Fringe

Gwendolyn Wright explores the historical challenges women face in the field of architecture. She highlights how architectural practice is influenced by rigid sexual stereotypes and how women tend to have segregated roles in the periphery. She dissects the experiences of women from discriminatory hiring, salary, and advancement opportunities to double standards like discrediting domestic architecture […]

11 November, 2023

Ziyi-Jorrina Cheng on Female Regulation

In the book chapter “Female Regulation of the Healthy Home,” Annmarie Adams provides an insightful analysis into the multifaceted role of Victorian women in shaping domestic and public spheres through their contribution to household management and health standards. Adams interweaves the concept of domestic science with the cultural narrative of the era, showcasing women’s strategic […]

10 November, 2023

Qingyuan Wu on The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage

‘The vocabulary of ‘collecting’ and of ‘harvesting’ […] suggests the undeniable cynicism: that after the harvest season, the objects will magically grow back again like fields of wheat.’ ‘Even if it is somewhat reinvented, […] The erasure of memory has been so successful that communities have even begun to lose any remaining knowledge of this […]

8 November, 2023

Nora Zoe Schären on The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage

The term “harvesting” I found very interesting. It generates a cycle for each system you harvest from. It’s very specific. Harvesting from a grapevine works differently than grain. It’s about harvesting the right amount in the right way without destroying the system. It’s about learning about each system and adapting to their needs in time. […]

8 November, 2023

Isaac Elia Martinez on The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage

In a way, this text for me really underlines that connecting ideas to an object is what makes them be remembered and cherished but also creates a memory in a larger context. These ideas can be as general as they can be individual. Tied to something as simple as a place one remembers, or a […]

8 November, 2023

Zhishuang Liu on The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage

The discourse at the Rietberg Museum centered on the themes of restitution, ownership, and the significance of artwork as addressed in Bénédicte Savoy and Felwine Sarr’s influential paper, The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics. The paper delves into the historical underpinnings of colonization, stressing the imperative to acknowledge and tackle […]

8 November, 2023

Chiara Linsalata on The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage

In the context of the Rietberg Museum in Zurich, one cannot overlook the compelling discourse on cultural heritage articulated by Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy in their text The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics. I am particularly intrigued by their argumentation regarding the ethical dimensions of acquiring and exhibiting African […]

8 November, 2023

Kristina Lehtinen on The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage

A few notes after a discussion at the Rietberg Museum: We discussed the tradition of collectors’ museums in the context of the “harvest” concept. The Rietberg Museum has an incredible collection of 23,000 objects. Culture is not static “European cultures have benefited from the input they have received from these distant objects that were soon […]

8 November, 2023

Jingling Ding on The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage

The report The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics by Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy explores the contentious issue of repatriating African cultural artefacts. Rietberg Museum like many other museums is facing concerns about the provenance of some of its artefacts, with questions about whether they had been acquired in an […]

8 November, 2023

Lukas Buettner on The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage

The Kunstmuseum Rietberg exhibits its large collection in a very neutral and non-judgemental way. As a result, visitors are quickly tempted to stroll through the rooms at a certain speed and with a certain indifference. The only thing that changes impressively for the visitor is his surroundings. A park, a villa, a bunker. The experience […]

8 November, 2023

Helena Bonet Muñoz on The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage

Once the audio guide was in operation, we entered the Rietberg Museum through the Villa Wesendonck. We began to wander through the various rooms without any planned route, guided solely by our curiosity. Until the voice of the narrator started speaking, we felt a little overwhelmed by the large number of objects on display without […]

8 November, 2023