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September 5, 2022

Exhibitions: Peace or Never—Next Generation Graduation Exhibition: Institute Art Gender Nature, FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel

Art & Education

Fabienne Stucki, Da steht ein Mensch vor mir (Glittering) Are you crying or am I crying?, 2022. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Colin Benjamin Barth and Jonas Huldi, It belonged to time now, to history; was past the touch and control of the living., 2022. Photo: Christoph Bühler.

Hana El-Sagini, A Dialogue between a Wooden Moth and Blue Slippers, 2022. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Joan Pallé, To gain speed, to move faster, 2022. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Ruben Stauffer, On our way towards, 2022. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Anna Meisser, tell me how to handle this shit ton of anger, 2022. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Peace or Never—Next Generation Graduation Exhibition: Institute Art Gender Nature, FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel

Curated by Fernanda Brenner and Chus Martínez with curatorial assistance from Tabea Rothfuchs.

“Peace or Never.” We compose this title as an homage, and as a way of creating some nearness, to the Ukrainian-born Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector (1920–1977). She often reflected on the logic of the ultimatum and the negation. “There was the never and there was the yes,” she once wrote in The Hour of the Star (1977). “I do not know why, but I do know that the universe never began.” If we mostly blackmail out of desperation, so we mostly do it to those we love the most. We say: “You better commit or you will never see me again.” What we mean is: “Please love me and never leave me alone.” Yes, peace or never. Peace or please never start a war, never. Peace or please protect the lives of all, human and nonhuman. Peace or never face us all with choices that make no sense, choices that disrupt the most precious value, that is, life. There are many wars. All wars are monstrous and all lives valuable. Peace or never, then.

This, what you are about to see, is a graduation exhibition. It brings together the works of those students finishing their third-year bachelor and second-year master degrees at the Institute Art Gender Nature HGK FHNW in Basel. Graduation exhibitions constellate two forces: art education and art practice. So linked, they create an extremely interesting space in which to address the values that we wish to fill our futures, and our future peace. Here, violence has no place, no justification, no practice. It may seem idealistic to say that art and its communities of practitioners constitute a vaccine against war. But we would stress this, again and again, for how unrealistic is it to separate the realms of life and art on one side, and the logics of greed and war, on the other. Indeed, life functions only by interconnectedness and mutuality. And we claim that the task of art is to maintain this flow, to stay fully engaged in all the aspects of a sensorial life. Probably that is the reason why art was invented, to prevent life from stopping. Remember that the discovery that a simple stick could be turned into a weapon coincided with the mesmerizing apparition of paintings of animals in caves. So, there is a reason to affirm the value of art and artists as preservers of life.

Exhibitions that emerge from collective energies of being, like the graduation exhibition discussed here, are difficult to summarize. Are there traits that allow us to “read” sequels of the pandemic or generational traits? We hope not. Art materials, artistic languages, and contemporary practices are not data. They do not reveal statistic tendencies of our now. Artists evolve from their own stories, logic, and understanding of their practices. They do not only “respond” to the demands of the present. This is a very good trait. There are enough disciplines, tools, and methods out there “responding” to the now—as media languages and their corporations frame it. What we need is exactly this delay, between the real and ourselves in order to see and reflect on our expectations, hopes, grief.

Featuring Sebastian Crispin Altermatt, Marisabel Arias, Colin Benjamin Barth & Jonas Huldi, Cécile Baumgartner Vizkelety, Raffaela Boss, carolina brunelli, Wren Cellier, Dimitra Charamandas, Charles Benjamin Desotto, Yana Dyl, Valentin Egli, Hana El-Sagini, Hannah Maria Furgal, Sebastian Gisi, Janosch von Graffenried, Silas Heizmann, Charlotte Horn, Golnaz Hosseini, Vianne Houlmann, Maria Ionescu, Ana Jikia, Diego Kohli, Minh Noah Krattiger, Benjamin Lenz, Josefina Leon Ausejo, Claire Megumi Masset, Anna Meisser, Milena Mihajlović, Manuela Libertad Morales Délano, Anita Mucolli, Sinai Mutzner, Joan Pallé, Kiki Pavlović / Demonbaby2222, Paula Santomé, Benoît Schmidt, Moa Sjöstedt , Fabio Sonego, Lukas Roman Stäuble, Ruben Stauffer, Fabienne Stucki, Jessica Voelke, Kateryna Vysoka, Victoria Wicki, Jack Young, and Severin Zbinden.

View “Peace or Never” on Art & Education Exhibitions.

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