Luzia Hürzeler

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Keynote speaker
Artist, Research Dept., Bern University of the Arts, HKB

Abstract

How to sleep among wolves.

In my dissertation How to sleep among wolves I report about the coexistence of humans and animals in the zoo, as an institution of humans for the animal and for itself, using the example of the wolf enclosure. It is based on my artistic installation project „How to sleep among wolves“, to place a life-size sculptural image of myself – sleeping – on the hill in the wolf enclosure at Zurich Zoo, which can be seen from the visitor‘s point of view and which often serves as a place to sleep for the wolves. Since this plan met with resistance, I wanted to find out what it was like and which ideas about the human-animal relationship – which exclude my imagination – were embodied in the exhibition display. Exploring the concrete daily practice of image production and maintenance in the zoo and the way the actors talked about it, it became apparent that it was very difficult to address them about their staging practice. Only the attempt to bring the sculpture into the enclosure and the associated negotiations about whether or better why this should not be brought into the exhibition and be visible to the visitor, enabled me to actually address the staging as such and the underlying assumptions and justifications.

CV

Artist, graduate of HEAD-Geneva, she obtained a Master‘s degree at the Slade School of Fine Art in London in 2004. Member of the Swiss Institute of Rome from 2007 to 2009. Between 2012 and 2016, she was a doctoral fellow at the Hochschule der Künste and the University of Bern in the SNSF project „We are hibernating!“ and received her PhD in Fine Art and Social Anthropology in 2017. Since 2017 she leads the HES-SO research project „Qui a vu le loup ?“ at the Valais School of Art. Her installations, exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in galleries and museums in Switzerland and abroad, explore the constitution of the image itself, its spatial and medial conditions.

 

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