Artists: Nadja Athanasiou, Irina Birger, Andrea Gohl, Daniel Fernández Pascual, Delia Popa, Anka Schmid and Anca Sinpalean
Curated by Anca Sinpalean
“Being on the way” has become a way of living for many contemporary artists. Traveling between exhibitions, projects and residencies, as well as the immigration has influenced the methods and outcome of their work. The exhibition presents some of the forms and functions of artists’ travels today, while taking us on a virtual tour of the Swiss Alps, the American Disneyland, the Spanish Coast, the parks and markets of China or of Venice during the Carnival.
“I feel truly happy when I travel. As a stranger I feel most like myself.” Travel is for Nadja Athanasiou like food for her eye, an opportunity to understand herself and the world. Menu is a collection of visual fragments gathered by Nadja Athanasiou across decades, and used as inspiration for her work. In her very personal ‘book of ideas’, exhibited for the first time, the images are never documentary, they are metaphorical, they tell a story or convey a state of mind. The photographs are often accompanied by handwritten notes, making the creative process transparent. 

Masters of Time (2012) is the title of Irina Birger‘s video about her journey to China. “I am living the life I always wanted – I am not happy,” she said. So she was trying to escape from Europe – pretending it was dead. Irina Birger traveled through Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Xiamen, trying to relate to this totally new civilization. Through its strangeness and distance, the film reveals the impossibility to connect to people and environments that are culturally so different than one’s own.
In 2007 Andrea Gohl started to take photographs during her urban walks in cities like London, New York, Paris, Rome and Sofia/Plovdiv. The images are unspectacular, unpopulated, often taken in deserted city corners, the places’ architecture and atmosphere being their main subject. In these urban walks, architecture is perceived in its materiality and universality: walls, bricks, windows, where human presence left only few, unperceivable traces.Daniel Fernández Pascual is showing two installations: one consisting of 7 pairs of postcards (one from 30 years ago, one recent) illustrating the urban development of the Spanish coast during the country’s transition to democracy. Speculative development and destruction of the land are further reflected in his other installation, Displaced Soils & The Pseudo-Science Of The Scientific: a collection of soil samples gathered from the same coast. They are arranged in a line on the gallery’s floor, so that visitors stepping on them will accidentally displace them.Delia Popa is showing a documentation of her 2010 project I am Gustav von Aschenbach or How to Live Your Eternity in Venice at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Venice, during the Venetian Carnival. The project consisted of performances, actions, interviews with the tourists and a studio reconstruction in the gallery. It questioned whether we become different persons in different places, whether our identity shifts along with the location, or if we can still have a fresh look at a much mediated city and have an authentic experience of it. At the same time, the project aimed to question the conditions under which artists are working at present, influenced by the extreme mobility of cultural projects.Swiss director Anka Schmid is presenting an installation entitled Mountain: Travelling and Static (2013). It consists of a 3D model of the Matterhorn and a video containing extracts of her Magic Matterhorn documentary, combined with collages made in collaboration with Martin Schwarz. The video depicts the famous mountain “travelling” to iconic locations around the world. On a second level, the installation is announcing the screening of the documentary Magic Matterhorn (1995), on the 1st of March, at 7pm – a  playful search for today’s sentiments of home. After taking us from the Swiss Alps to the Disneyland in the United States, the conclusion of the film is: “Perhaps homeland is a mountain of clichés.“
Anca Sinpalean is presenting an autobiographical work, a wall installation entitled I Never Traveled Far Enough (2013). Photographs from the artist’s travels taken from cars or airplanes try to convey the experience of moving between places. They are combined with a few drawings and references to the place where the artist grew up, a small village in central Romania. In this work, travel appears as a failed escape from one’s past. At the same time it is an homage to the artist’s grandparents and uncle, who never traveled outside their county. Her second work is a “Cabinet of Curiosities“, where found albums, objects, postcards and a 16 mm film, made by different anonymous travelers are exhibited in a museum-like manner. The objects are relics of a time prior to Google Maps and the Internet, when the postcard or the printed photograph were at the core of any real or virtual travel.
Exhibition from 23. 2. until 15. 3. 2013
Related program: Screening of Magic Matterhorn by Anka Schmid, 1. 03. at 7 pm
artfoyer Cavigelli
Albisstrasse 27,
CH – 8038 Zürich
Öffnungszeiten: Mo 10 – 17
Mi, Fr 15.30 -18.00