Summer programme 2013 Shedhalle

Shedhalle will continue its program of exhibitions, films and events „SWITZERLAND IS NOT AN ISLAND“ from 17th October on.


In Summer 2013 there will be following programme in the Shedhalle:

1) 22.08. - 24.08. Das Zürcher Theater Spektakel (www.theaterspektakel.ch) with the Short Pieces Programme:

- My Paradoxical Knives  by Ali Moini

- Macho Dancer by Eisa Jocson

2) 11.09. - 22.09. Exhibition "Everything will be fine"

A co-operation of the Künstlerhaus in Vienna and the Rote Fabrik

Organized by the Druckatelier in the Rote Fabrik.

3) 27.09. - 28.09. The Fault Lines by Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods

Organized by Fabriktheater


The team of Shedhalle wishes you a pleasant summer and is looking forward to see you again in October.


Program 8 / Part 2 / Friday, June 21, 2013, 7 p.m., Shedhalle

Making an image for oneself

In societies that attribute people’s “ethnic” ascription great value and link their social status to it, immense psychic and physical work is required of those labeled as the “Others.” This work involves attempting to move away from racist ascriptions and be perceived as a “normal” part of majority society, or to counter and refuse ascriptions and actively deal with and refute the associated racists devaluation or “added value” gained through “exoticizing.” On the two evenings of the film program, 19 and 21 June, strategies of “Becoming White” or “Becoming Invisible” as well as “Outings” and “being different” will be up for discussion.

Part 2

Insights into Outer Appearances: Cinematic Statements on the Visuality of Racism

Frantz Fanon, Black Skin White Mask: Isaac Julien, Production: Mark Nash / Arts Council of England, UK 1996, 73 min, English 

Miss Roma: Tamara Moyzes, 2007, 1:40 min

The director, Tamara Moyzes, will be present at the screening.

Repression and racism have profound effects on the way that colonized and racially discriminated people construct themselves as subjects. Dominance reaches into the psyche of those who have been dominated: Frantz Fanon (1925–1961) formulates this theory in his book Black Skin, White Masks (1952), an epoch-making “Essay for the Disalienation of Blacks” as its first title stated.

Through the montage of archive material, interviews—among others, with Stuart Hall and Françoise Vergès—as well as fictional reconstructions, Isaac Julien’s film essay draws a complex image of Frantz Fanon in the context of decolonization and the Algerian War of Independence, and links this with current discourses of queer and post-colonial identities.

Tamara Moyzes’ video Miss Roma shows the donning of a “white mask.” The transformation of the woman protagonist stages the passage through a continuum of appearance, void of thresholds, within which racism erects its aesthetic borders and values. This “passing” plays with the “color line” and blurs it to the point of non-distinguishability. 


Program June:

Program 7 / Thursday June 6, 2013, 7 p.m., Shedhalle 

The Bad Word: Persecution and Annihilation of the Roma and Sinti  

Das falsche Wort: Wiedergutmachung an Zigeunern (Sinti) in Deutschland?

D: Katrin Seybold, BRD 1987, Screenplay: Melanie Spitta, Actors: Thomas Münz, Melanie Spitta; Production: ZDF, 83 min, in German


Program 8 – Making an image for oneself

Part 1 / Wednesday June 19, 2013, 7 p.m., Shedhalle  

Diverging from the Norm

Die Beichte – Eine filmische Auseinandersetzung mit dem Anderssein

D: Eva Merckling-Mihok, CH 2008, 27 min, German and Czech with German subtitles

The director, Eva Merckling-Mihok, will be present at the screening


Part 2 / Friday, June 21, 2013, 7 p.m., Shedhalle

Insights into Outer Appearances: Cinematic Statements on the Visuality of Racism

Frantz Fanon, Black Skin White Mask

D: Isaac Julien, Production: Mark Nash / Arts Council of England, UK 1996, 73 min, English 

Miss Roma

D: Tamara Moyzes, 2007, 1:40 min

The director, Tamara Moyzes, will be present at the screening.


The film program will be resumed in October 2013, i.a. with "Swiss sans papiers" by Andreas Hoessli and "Die letzten freien Menschen/The Last Free People" by Oliver M. Meyer.

Shedhalle / Exhibitions / SWITZERLAND IS NOT AN ISLAND


Opening 31 May, 7 p.m.

witha lecture performance by Saar Magal (Video design and editing: Benjamin Krieg)

The second part of the SWITZERLAND IS NOT AN ISLAND exhibition and program of events, “#2 Controversy Out Loud” refers to the Richard Wagner Year 2013 and his connection with Swiss politics of memory.

Works by Tal Adler/Karin Schneider; the „The Pressure Group to Transform the Lueger Monument into a Monument against Anti-Semitism and Racism“;  Sasha Huber; Tina Leisch; Saar Magal and the “Café Temelín” reveal strategies for a artistic approach to figures, places, and stories that are “ambivalent” and “problematic”  in terms of the politics of memory.


Over the past several decades, cracks have begun to form in the image of Switzerland as a “neutral country” and humanitarian island. While Switzerland is clearly not a Nazi successor state, it was complexly involved in the national-socialist regime. There was active resistance as well as collaboration, and profiteering in Switzerland. The country’s current financial wealth cannot be viewed as something separate from this.

Anti-Semitic and racist policies in Switzerland have a long history. Between 1933 and 1945 Switzerland was a land of exile, but also a country that closed its borders for those who were on the run “simply for racial reasons,” turning them back and thereby accepting their death. Continuities in these policies are evident even today with regard to Jews, Roma, and refugees, while claims of neutrality and the “special case” of Switzerland remain as a protective shield against the country’s confrontation with its own involvements.

This problematic stance towards its own history becomes apparent in the handling of Richard Wagner’s anti-Semitism in the anniversary year 2013. The figure of Wagner offers the opportunity for a confrontation that delves deeper into the artists persona and his work: as a participant in the bourgeois revolution, he fled from Dresden, was granted asylum in Zurich where he composed not only musical works, but also the anti-Semitic essay, “Jewishness (or Judaism) in Music,” which the Nazis would later use as a politico-cultural source of terms.

In a serious approach to Wagner and his works, there is no clean separation of his musical creation from his political attitude and actions, or justification of the musical “genius” while treating his anti-Semitism and Deutschtümelei (Germanomania) as, at best, a disturbing footnote.  Taking a serious approach to Wagner as a political artist means taking a closer look at the logic of his creation – shaping the world by means of art.  And, finally, such a consequential confrontation (in Switzerland) also means confronting historical forms of anti-Semitism and racism and also, speaking out against and fighting their current forms.


The exhibition project  “#2 Controversy Out Loud” proposes a serious consideration of the work, attitude, and reception of figures that appear “fickle” or “ambivalent” when they are considered in their overall contexts. Opposing apologetic and obscure attitudes, the art works shown in the exhibition present strategies of clarification and change.  

The choreographer Saar Magal opens the exhibition with a performance–lecture of her piece “Hacking Wagner” in a version adapted for the Shedhalle. The piece deals with the possibilities of “hacking” the work and reception of Richard Wagner, that is, cracking the appropriate code, redefining it, and newly appropriating it from the position of Holocaust survivors and their descendants. Also questioned is the perform-ability of Richard Wagner in countries where National Socialism and its effects continue to play a role—thus, also in Switzerland.

In two works from the series “Dispersed Fragments” and “Leveled Landscapes,” Tal Adler/Karin Schneider look at sites and forms of memory, forgetting, and concealing in the Austrian “landscape.”

In Tina Leisch’s riefenstahlremix, Anna Blach and Rosa Winter, Sintezza, recall their forced labor in Helene Riefenstahl’s film Tiefland. The Nazi film icon drafted them from a Nazi concentration camp, forcing them to work as extras for the film.

The works shown in the exhibition by Sasha Huber and the two collectives “Café Temelín” and  “The Pressure Group to Transform the Lueger Monument into a Monument against Anti-Semitism and Racism” present forms of artistic intervention that are interested in expanding the scope for action at very concrete sites.

The “The Pressure Group to Transform the Lueger Monument into a Monument against Anti-Semitism and Racism“ invited to an open call in which 225 applications were submitted for the redesigning of the memorial for  an anti-Semitic politician, Karl Lueger (Mayor of Vienna 1897-1910). Shown in the exhibition are a chronology of the project, the winning concept as well as a summary publication.

Sasha Huber documents her re-naming of the Agassizhorn (Berner Alps) as  “Rentyhorn.” Agassizhorn bears the name of a proponent of Swiss scientific racism,  Louis Agassiz, while Renty was the name of the Congolese slave whom Agassiz photographed and used as evidence in his racist argumentation.

“Café Temelín” shows cinematic and photographic excerpts from a tour through Austrian border and mountain regions. Its goal was to disturb the normality of revisionist historiography and the continuity of nationalist and extreme right-wing discourses.  


The research exhibition SWITZERLAND IS NOT AN ISLAND compiles a collection of artistic works on key themes, as well as publications and research material. The exhibition will be expanded over the course of 2013 with additional thematic foci. The collection will be continuously supplemented, and is the base for additional events in the program, such as workshops, discussions, poster campaigns, and actions/interventions, and is available for visitors as reading and research material.

Shedhalle / Exhibitions / SWITZERLAND IS NOT AN ISLAND


The current program of exhibitions, films and event „SWITZERLAND IS NOT AN ISLAND“ adresses the social exclusion and persecution as well as the cultural and political selforganisation of Roma, Sinti and Yeniche people in Switzerland and Europe.

The regulation of public space through a ban of begging or other policies of spatial exclusion will be linked with the question of distribution of wealth and the „making-invisible“ of poverty. But also, counter-strategies will be formulated. Furthermore, the program will discuss questions of political exile, border and migration policies.

The issue of political exile will be revisited in the second core theme of the program. In relation to the „Richard Wagner Year“ 2013  the program will critically discuss the production of the artistic genius as a strategy of commodification and politics of location. Different projects will query the transformation of an anti-Semitic political activist and (cultural-)political key figure for the nazis into a dazzling role model for Switzerland as „country of exile“ - while others, who are seeking shelter, a better life or simply their livelihood in Switzerland are being marginalized, criminalized and pushed out of public life and space.


In societies that are marked by racism, there is a rule of conflict between those who „belong“ and those who do not „belong“ – and therefore must be included, controlled or „integrated“. The conflict in question is about the definition of social normality: Who can or may take part in decision making processes and to which extent? How must the individual behave, speak and look like? How and by whom this normality is being fabricated and how and by whom is it supervised, controlled and „executed“?

This order of normality not only defines the access to ressources - which are created by all, also by the marginalized - and which should be therefore accessible by all, with equal rights. At the same time, what is at stake is the right to speak for oneself, being visible and equally take part in the organization of common life. The mentioned conflict is therefore one about equal policital, social, economical and cultural rights and about the conditions for speaking, acting and existing.

For the marginalized, be they minorities, migrants, sexually deviant, socially deprived or unemployed, the desire for taking part in the social order means having to hustle between one´s own endeavour to have a selfdetermined and „good“ life, constantly having having your own life examined and constrained as well as being discriminated against and being excluded through racist and antisemitic, through sexist or classist structures and daily hostilities.

For Yeniche, Roma or Sinti, this situation is and – since centuries was – a part of their daily life. It made it necessary to work for the abolition of social inequality and against discrimination, applying different strategies at the same time: be it the discovery, creation and occupation of different niches which insure subsistence, the transfer of knowledge beyond institutions that are controllable by state and majority society. Knowledge against policies of assimilation or integration or policies which seize language, lifestyle decisions or social structures and knowledge that makes it possible to deal with identities that are socially imposed and with the discrimination that goes along with them.


The art works, publications and research materials shown address the strategies of Yeniche, Roma and Sinti people in dealing with ascriptions as well as experiences with racism, how they define themselves, how they locate themselves in society and how they resist the „racist knowledge“ of the majority society and their own marginalization.

Mo Diener researches about different aspects of the life of Yeniche people in Switzerland and shows conversations with swiss Yeniche who talk about their way of life, their jobs, their selfdefinitions and –organisations.In her work „Die Beichte“ („The confession“), Eva Merckling -Mihok departs from her own autobiography beeing the daughter of a Czech Rom father and a Swiss mother and shows how she redefines the situation in a selfdetermined way. Tamara Moyzes ironizes the forced adaptation to legitimate „looks“ - in her video „Miss Roma“ she shows the transformation of a Romni into a blonde „beauty“.Marika Schmiedt deals with continuities of exclusion, persecu­tion and silencing in her films „An undesirable society“, „Roma Memento. Uncertain future?“, „LEGACY“ and „Memory“.  Romnija of different generations outline their life stories, discuss strategies of „survival“, inscribe themselves into history and confront the majority society.


The research exhibition SWITZERLAND IS NOT AN ISLAND assembles art works dealing with focus to­pics as well as publications and research materials in form of a research library. In the course of 2013, the exhibition is being extended with further thematic focuses. The research library is continuously being supplemented. It is the basis for workshops, discussions, poster campaigns or actions and other inter­ventions. It is available for visitors for reading and as research material.