During the one-month stay at the Alpenhof Anthonie de Groot and Gianna Rovere explored different ways of working together. For example on walks, with commenting on each other’s writing, with audio, image-search, collages or writing letters. In all these experiments they were interested in each other’s working methods; in how they research, link and spin on. Coming from different disciplines, it was in language, in text, where they met. They used the Library of Andreas Züst for research. They gave themselves the notion of «longing» as a starting point, as a feeling that should guide their research. As a feeling that keeps coming up, describing gaps and voids; what is missing and what one longs for. From the research and reflection, a collection has emerged, which is built as a dialogue. They call it their «database», which they will take further on to continue working on other projects.
Excerpt from the «database»:
1. New beginning
(No reset, no forgetting, but also no too strenuous «referencing».)
(Deliberately avoiding discourses and contexts.)
Yes, but I like discourse and making connections.
(Bumpy and steep, smooth and gentle. Eyes on it or just on the side of the path, where we gather in thought and observe, forget some things and yet remember others when we come back from the same walk and tell each other about it.)
It is like reading without concentration. The not conscious reading, where the thoughts are completely elsewhere and I could not repeat what the last lines were.
(Or the moment when one has actually already fallen asleep while reading. Dreaming creeps into the reading movement and only becomes noticeable when it ventures too far away from reality.)
Idea for method: Late in the evening, with tired eyes and heavy hand.
4. Not being concrete
5. Not thinking about the goal
(I seal the target in a glass ball and put a cork on it. Slowly, the steam of habit builds up in it, so that the view of the target from the outside is not quite as clear as it was at the beginning, and the temptation to break the glass and take the target is not quite as great.)
We have already talked about the physical. Warn me before you take the hammer because you can’t take it anymore.
(Maybe I have to take the hammer, weigh it in my hand, feel the weight, the violence, in order to be able to put it back into the toolbox unused?)
Yes, or use it once briefly, not with full force, but just so lightly, to give a little satisfaction to the desire.
6. Not thinking about the actual thing
(Not thinking about it, that you might think about it, that what you don’t think about might become the focus.)
Does that perhaps also mean that what we are doing here is a wrong approach? Maybe we also forget for a day why we are actually here.
(I imagine that would be nice! But do you think we can actually forget why we are here?)
By cleaning for a whole day and drinking beer, maybe. Then it’s already two days when the next one is a hangover day.
(By the way while running.)
(By the way, listening.)
(It burns under my fingers. Want to hide my restless greedy look.)
Or you get involved with this «method». I mean, we’re talking about taking the focus away, from the in-between. Let’s collect and document but in the process, fill our database, and then think about the «point of interest».
(I think writing about restlessness is a way to engage myself in the method. Because when I write about it, I take the wind out of it.)
Not writing about restlessness, but writing restlessly?
9. Productivity in not being productive
(Stone bench, showcase.)
A book, haha.
(A book about stone benches, locked behind glass and only to be looked at with a key and white gloves.)
The challenge in the whole endeavor begins to emerge:
How to look at the gap when there is nothing in place for a gap to form?
(How to understand the thought processes of the other person and understand and respond to and use our different approaches?)
Text: Anthonie de Groot, Gianna Rovere
Page 31, line 18 should read unintelligible
Page 21, line 3 should read one not on
Page 41, line 3 should read he explained not the explained 
On page 86 the artist’s name is missing. 
errare, meaning “to stray, to wander” is also the Latin ancestor at the root of the words error, erratic, and erroneous. During our residency at Bibliothek Andreas Züst, we continued our collaboration on an ongoing artistic research with the working title ERRARE. Together, we approached the library’s holdings through a wandering reading of paratexts such as dedications, acknowledgements, colophons or editorial notes. These texts account for the labor and collective efforts behind the making of a book. We are interested in unearthing absences and processes of exclusion from literary production.
We started to map out the literary network of (queer) women artists and writers in German-speaking Switzerland and beyond, on the basis of the library holdings of Andreas Züst.
For women, the art and literary world was for a long time only accessible in the roles of muses, copyists, assistants, editors, or under a pseudonym. Inspired by errata, we inserted paper slips into some library books, as a way of sharing fragments of our research and linking books with each other, allowing future readers to retrace these hidden alliances.
Departing from this research, we continue to send new paper slips to the library. We are also writing on an essay and are creating a sound and voice based performance, in which the paratextual findings unfold.
For you, M. 
There are always many people involved
in the creation of any book, but special thanks are due (…) 
Annette hat mich ermutigt, einen zweiten Band von
WO DIE NACHT DEN TAG UMARMT zu wagen.
Sonja schenkte dem Buch seinen Titel — in letzter Minute.
Ulrike hat Korrektur gelesen.
Doris half mir im Büro beim Verträgeschreiben
und Beantworten der vielen Post.
Und ich? Ja, ich habe mich sehr gefreut, dieses Buch zu machen. 
meiner Tochter 
Ich danke meiner Schwester Diana, meiner Großmutter, 
Für Gertrud H. 
Für Nicole Stéphane 
Meine teuren Mutter, dem heiligsten Stern über meinem Leben 
Für Angelika Oehms 
Au lecteur, ces amers d’une route déjà longue 
Für Ester Altorfer, zerbrechliches Feuer des Wassers 
Für S., meine Große 
Dieses Buch ist den Walen gewidmet.
This book is dedicated to the whales.
Ce livre est dédié aux baleines. 
an die Geliebten 
Monique Ulrich is an artist, editor and researcher with a background in photography and literary/cultural studies. Her artistic practice comprises writing, drawing and film as notation, installations as well as sound and language based performances.
Tabea Nixdorff is an artist, typographer and feminist researcher, currently living in the Netherlands. Her artistic practice involves writing, (self)publishing, sound and language based performances, collaborative learning and social gatherings.
Tabea and Monique started collaborating in 2018 and have since then conducted performative readings in Berlin at diffract – center for theoretical periphery, during the Conceptual Poetics Day at HKW, in Leipzig at KV-Verein für zeitgenössische Kunst and ROTORBOOKS, and in Frankfurt/Main as part of the book fair program by Spector Books and Scriptings.
 Errata in: Cogniant, Raymond ; Rewald, John : Paul Gauguin. A Sketchbook. New York : Hammer, 1962. Sig. KAAG 07
 Errata in: Interfunktionen Heft 9, Köln : Heubach, (o.J.) Sig. ZO 019
 Paratexts are everything that’s ‘beside’ (para in Greek) the body of the work, or book. So, for example the title, dust jacket, foreword or colophon.
 An errata is a slip of paper appended to a book listing corrections of misprints.
 Sontag, Susan : I, etcetera. New York : Vintage Books, 1978. Sig. LABH S08x
 A Treasury of Chinese Literature . Greenwich : Fawcett Premier Book, 1972. Sig. VHEC 02
 Lorez, Gudula (Hrsg.): Hautfunkeln . Erotische Phantasien und Geschichten von Frauen. Berlin : Lorez, 1982. Sig. MO 021
 Friederike Mayröcker, in: Zwischen den Zeilen Nr. 3/1994 : Hermann Burger, Michael Buselmeier, Elke Erb, Albert Ostermaier, Jürgen Theobaldy, Bartolo Cattafi. Winterthur : Engeler, 1994. Sig. ZB 001
 Meinecke, Thomas : Tomboy : Roman. Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp, 1998. Sig. LABA M14x
 Charles, Paula : Go, Josephine, go. Zürich : Limmat, 1993. Sig. LABC C025
 Mehr, Mariella: Brandzauber : Roman. Zürich : Magel & Kimche, 1998. Sig. LABC M007
 Sontag, Susan : Über Fotografie. München : Hanser, 1978. Sig. LBH 018
 Lasker-Schüler, Else : Die gesammelten Gedichte, München : Wolff, 1920. Sig. LABA L005
 Nordhausen, Hilka : Melonen für Bagdad. Ostheim / Rhön : Engstler, 1990. Sig. KACN 002
 Braque, Georges : Le jour et la nuit : cahiers 1917–1952. Paris : Édition Gallimard, 1952. Sig. KAAB 021
 Esther Altorfer 1936–1988. Bern : Salchli, 1989. Sig. KAEA 003
 Lorez, Gudula (Hrsg.): Hautfunkeln . Erotische Phantasien und Geschichten von Frauen. Berlin : Lorez, 1982. Sig. MO 021
 Emch, Nik : M. Zürich : Bilger, 1995. Sig. KADE 002
 Berent, Hella : Rom, Exil der Heiterkeit 1985–1992, Bielefeld : Kerber, 1992. Sig. KACB 003
On hosting and guesting – Aftercare to a residency experience
A letter to Alpenhof and Bibliothek Andreas Züst care-takers
Dear Flavia, Laura & Dominic,
I arrived here as a guest, getting to know a position which is usually uncommon to me. And instead of embracing it, I thought that occupying this middle point – between being a guest and usually performing the role of the host – could be fertile and productive.
Usually, within Robida, we tend to avoid the binarism of guest and host, which is potentially problematic. Following Jacques Derrida’s text Of Hospitality (1997), hospitality (if not unconditional) implies a power to host and hence involves claims to property, ownership and a form of self-identity. The opposition between who is a host and who a guest, therefore, speaks of a relation of power. For this reason, when possible, we try to avoid this duality of hosts vs. guests, speaking rather of temporary and permanent dwellers or referring to guests as co-dwellers. Making the relation between temporary and permanent inhabitants reciprocal and sharing with guests responsibilities the place demands is a way of overcoming this binarity – of making hosts less hosts and guests less guests.
But the context of this specific residency is quite different from Robida’s one: Alpenhof is a hotel and the space itself, with the single rooms, the entrance, the bar, the kitchen speaks clearly of this binarism. While the fact that you are using it as your own house too, again questions its spatial clarity. I actually grew up in a space like this: the restaurant of my grandparents, where the living room was the bar and the kitchen of the restaurant, with its sterile furniture, was their home kitchen. I don’t know if this way of living made more the restaurant a house or the house a restaurant: if hosting clients would be almost as hosting friends at your own house or if living in the restaurant would be closer to never leaving your work space. Probably it was both.
The first day of my residency here I wrote down: Tabea spoke about errata. I spoke about reading as finding unexpected things by change, as collecting things that sediment in a fertile humus, reading as composting. Comp(h)osting. Interlacing hosting and composting – it’s about temporality, let encounters, conversations, events sediment, stay, be in contact with other remains, become a meshwork of elements which decompose to create humus to host again. Does this relation about composting and hosting speak only about finding a time for letting things, meetings, conversations deposit – does it only speak of a slower temporality, of a time dedicated to waiting for the transformation of the material. To compost means also to accumulate in a place…
It is so beautiful and precious to see how an idea comes to life while writing. This word, comp(h)osting, came up the first day and followed me toward the whole month here. I explored it’s potentialities through reading about hospitality and about composting, searching in the library images and traces which could be somehow connected to these two topics, writing down lists of verbs related to one or the other term, defining and re-defining why this term could be productive. One I noted down that usual literature about residencies focuses on artists and their experiences, less frequently on hosts. Another time I wrote that: comp(h)osting means relating the host to the transformative essence of the compost. Once I tried to trace back why I was thinking of composts: the reflection on compost came in relation to the fertile accumulation I am carrying on with my readings from which I don’t demand anything immediately.
Thinking my reading material as compost material brought me back to the library: can the metaphor of the compost be applied also to libraries – at the end they are also a layered accumulation of materials made to produce something, made to sediment in people’s mind and fertilize it! How can we through the library reflect on which type of residency and cultural project to develop?
There was a moment in which the metaphor of composting in relation to hosting became less interesting as the interpretation of residencies as composts, where materials, thoughts and people come together and arrive to unexpected results, but rather as the compost as something that comes after the residency. What are the scraps we want to collect at the end, accumulate somewhere and give time to become fertile (the other question is fertile for what? What would be the purpose of this rich soil?). What is the aftercare needed for residencies? Beside thinking of residencies as interesting for the artists, we can ask ourselves which scraps they leave behind and how can these remains be combined – what methodologies do we need to do so – to enrich our soils. What would we as guests give back and what would we leave behind? It’s interesting: for the host, the verb exists (to host) and for the guest not – defining the guest as a passive character. What would it mean for a guest to guest?
On a Monday morning, after breakfast, I facilitated a small workshop for the hosts and guests of the library. We sat around the big table and, with the help of the books which belonged to Andreas Züst, we explored the terms guest, host, comp(h)ost. The trace of this small gathering are short texts and three lists of verbs:
To compost: to accumulate, to layer, to decompose, to fertilize, to ferment, to collect, to throw, to transform, to maintain, to wait, to care, to nourish, to repurpose, to slow down, to sediment, to pile, to re-use, to combine, to collaborate.
To host: to care, to assist, to dwell, to accommodate, to share, to listen, to help, to introduce, to open, to explain, to let in, to facilitate, to guide, to stimulate, to nourish, to accompany, to wait, to organize, to encourage.
To guest: to allow, to adapt, to help, to listen, to question, to contribute, to share, to collaborate, to change, to encounter, to meet, to dwell, to ask, to inhabit, to feel, to thank, to adopt, to follow, to consider, to propose, to rest, to receive, to trust, to return.
Text: Vida Rucli
How many bodies are we?
Haut– und Hüllenträger*innen (1) (X Hella Berent)*
Bodies of time
bodies of emotion
bodies of memory
bodies of action
bodies of borders (2)
– slow processes of change (3)
our bodies are stages for expressions
of the collective memory
Erfahrungen des Individuums als soziales Wesen
schreiben sich hier ein. (4)
Two bodies are on the one hand the self and on
the other hand society. Sometimes they come
so close to each other that they almost dissolve.
Sometimes they are seperated by a considerable
How do we archive?
(What about cultures that don‘t wriitten routines?)
Body language (6)
My body of time can recontruct the past (7)
Handlung / Zugriff (9)
The archive as a general system of formation & transformation. (10)
Erinnerungen selbst sind nicht fassbar.
Wach bleiben sie nur, wenn sie wieder heraufgeholt,
wenn sie befragt werden. (11)
If our bodies are landscapes, what does it mean?
Der Körper als Ort der Formung
– äußerer, wie innerer Wahrnehmung (12)
Licht fällt in den aufgerissenen Körper macht Gedanken zu Gegenständen. (15)
«We produce knowledge through our body. How do we work in our artistic practice with(in) our body archive? Coming from drawing and textile we work as a tandem reflecting on our own and found (Andreas-Züst-Bibliothek) archives as survivors of / with time. This resulted in a drawn and written journal.»
Marie Schumann (*1991) is an artist working mainly with textiles. Her focus moves between (soft) spacial intervention, process experiments and research into the multi-layered metaphor of the textile in our society. She is strongly connected to the cultural technique of weaving, which as a binary system is the basis for our digital world.
Vanessa Hartmann (1987*) is an artist using mainly the practise of drawing as a tool of thinking and reflecting. With different visual metaphors she questions the act of drawing as an archival method. Which codes are embodied in our social roles, daily routines, languages and actions? Bodies, as well as societies, consist of particles, of fragments and are in constant repetetive transformation: Repetition as an intstrument of knowledge, of remembering, of questioning, but also as an instrument of power.
2, 4, 5, 12 Dorota Sajewska: „Körper-Archiv. Wie performative Künste die affektive Interdependenz von Wissen und Geschichte vermitteln“. In: INSERT. Artistic Practices as Cultural Inquiries, Ausgabe 1, Zonen der Gegenwart – Praktiken der Annäherung, 2021, URL: https://insert.art/ausgaben/zonen-der-gegenwart-praktiken-der-annaeherung/koerper-archiv (letzter Aufruf: November 2022)
1, 15 Hella Berent, Die Besteigung der Nähe, Mit Beiträgen von Helmut Frielinghaus, Hilka Nordhausen und Hannes Hatje. Fotografien von Lothar Schnepf, Hella Berent und Hannes Hatje. Dieses Buch erschien anlässlich der Raum – Installation im Oldenburger Kunstverein vom 27. Januar bis zum 22. Februar 1985
11 Walter Benjamin, https://insert.art/ausgaben/zonen-der-gegenwart-praktiken-der-annaeherung/this-actof-opening/ (letzter Aufruf: November 2022)
10 Michel Foucault, https://d-nb.info/966423607/34 (letzter Aufruf: November 2022)
3, 6, 7, 8, 9 ,13, 14, eigene Quelle
I asked my friend Kim how to say some ‘basic’ things in Swiss German and how to write them, she told me: Swiss German is not a written language, so everyone writes how he/she/they want, I would write: guätä taag – buongiorno.
I came to St. Anton to research the traces of the ancient element of the fire in the collection of the Bibliothek Andreas Züst and in the Appenzell landscape around it. Even if this immaterial presence is not anymore very visible in architecture, I am fascinated by the strong role it had in the history of cultures and households. The fireplace is a space of aggregation, transmission of knowledge, tradition, histories and discussion; and it is also a symbol of community and as such connection with-in an environment.
There is no fireplace in the Alpenhof and there is no useful map I could take with me during the explorations. St. Anton is exactly in the crossroad of four different maps (1075, 1076, 1095, 1096). – The map is not the territory – so, I move my steps on different terrains: on the tiny roads passing trough the farms, on the paths in between trees and the one on the snowy and then green green grass fields, on the pages of the publications, on images of craft, landscape, culture, sport, volcanoes, minerals and in between sentences. I walked in the shady areas of the forest to harvest wild garlic, under the rain, in the fog, during warm spring days, in the latest light of the day, in unknown directions to discover a bakery still using a wood oven, to other villages to do my grocery or to scan some books – so really thought about what was necessary, what to carry (carrying – caring – maintaining). And I started to create a map with traces of fire in the area, with writings, visual notes, anecdotes and questions. The map will be printed on fabric and will be a new tablecloth for the future residents. The dinners where the moment of encounter between all of us living there (Grace, Milva, Samar and the ones visiting) and the tablecloth will be a transportable space for people to gather but also to transmit knowledge about fire in this area: people, places, stories, recipes, experiences that might be useful for who will come next.
Kim told me also in Switzerlands they say: April April der macht was er will – April, April, it does what it wants. – And so I did by exploring this environment and creating a new tool to move in it.
Have good walks,
Text: Francesca Luchitta
When I applied to the residency, it was on the basis of a video project I had been working on for a number of years. In 2020, I finished a two minute video poem on the archive as photographed by her security cameras. It summarised my amazement that documents and books were preserved and available to the public. When I sent my proposal to Andreas Züst, I planned to expand the video beyond the pixilated archive of the security camera by listening to the wood on wood scrap of page turning and watching the books interconnected on their shelves like sinews of a sleeping giant. My goal was to return to the physical. When I came to the Alpenhof, I did accomplish my goal, but not in the way I had planned.
In Edgar Allen Poe’s story “The Gold-Bug,” the main character is a bookish man whose life is changed not by a book but by a bug he encounters on a hike. He comes to believe that this bug will lead him to buried treasure and claims that it is “the index to his fortunes.” Like many bibliophiles, he cannot encounter the outside world without the two dimensional world of the library overlaid on top. An index is an alphabetical listing of all the topics of note inside a book, with page numbers wherein they are mentioned; but as most bibliophiles and frustrated student researchers find, many books have indexes that do not list all topics of note. Obscure poets are ignored; the Cleveland Zoo; the three mentions of the Throwing Muses that proved that your favorite contemporary poet shared your teenage love of this post grunge band. But most important for our uses here: the index points away from itself. The bug would not make the bookish man’s fortune because it was a rare entomological find; nor the bug looking and weighing as though it were made of gold, so he could fool a jeweller into paying for it. No, if only he could decipher the secret language, this bug would lead him to page 251, Captain Kydd’s hidden treasure. He almost doesn’t succeed, his obsession with deciphering the hidden language having led his best friend to wonder whether he should lock him up until his delusion has faded. Yet for our bookish hero, his success relied upon his freedom of movement. As does mine.
Once arriving in Oberegg, I walked the area frequently. I walked 8 kilometers to Oberer Gäbris, and during much of the walk I kept looking at my soles, convinced by the stench that I had walked on cow manure and that was how the smell was following kilometer after kilometer, over mountain pass and woodland. No, there was nothing on my shoes. The land stank. I loved it.
It was April, it was calving season, and as an Irish visitor who had grown up around cows said, “These don’t look like cows! They’re supermodels.” My artistic query was: how to make an object that honors this particular archive in the heart of the Appenzell? I gathered linden tree limbs that were left in the crook of a tree, and may have once been used as walking sticks by the many hikers in the region. I photographed the eyes of calves and transferred them onto archival gloves. They recalled the Eye of Horus, which protect from evil forces, and relate to the moon; Horus himself does not relate to cows, but the Greeks worshipped Io, a bovine goddess connected to the moon, who was guarded by a shepherd with eyes in each of his hundred hands, who was called “All-seeing.” In Vedic astrology, feeding cows is prescribed for those with problem planets in their birth chart; those with a troublesome moon, for example, are told to feed cows on Mondays.
My goal coming to the Bibliothek was to explore the physical. I thought it would be through documenting books, but instead it was by creating a site specific apotropaic talisman.
Text: Sammar Al Summary
I came to the Alpenhof to make a book. For five years, I have been working on an English-language translation of Marlene Marder’s diary, originally published in 1986. Marder was the guitarist of the Swiss bands Kleenex and LiLiPUT (the second a natural progression of the first!) and her diary is a strange and fascinating text, her personal accounts of the mundane and sublime elements of playing in a rock’n’roll group set alongside reproductions of press clippings, reviews, interviews, photos, flyers and more.
Marder and Kleenex/LiLiPUT existed at the center of a particular punk-cum-art milieu in 1970s/80s Zurich. Impossibly cool-looking (and with great tunes to boot!), they are more beloved outside of Switzerland than within, though knowledge about the band and their story is limited, thanks to the available information being mostly in German.
I initially intended to come to the Alpenhof to learn more about their peers — to spend time thinking about how the story of Kleenex/LiLiPUT related to the story of Peter Fischli, Livio Piatti, Bice Curiger, Erna Krips and more, to understand how they fit into the picture of Zurich-counter culture of the moment, at a place where the student movement, women’s lib, the F&F art school, and punk rock met. I was supposed to visit in March 2020, at which point I was at a very different, research-based stage of my project and we were in a very different stage of life on earth! Two years later, I spent my time at the Alpenhof thinking instead about the materiality of the book and preparing it for publication — what should it look and feel like? How should these images talk to each other? How do we preserve the feeling of the original while updating and expanding it for the present day? What does it mean to make a book that feels grounded in history but still contemporary, specific yet timeless?
I explored books about Kleenex/LiLiPUT’s peers and predecessors, yes, but more than that I pulled books off the shelf and thought about how they felt in my hands. Where is the balance between readable text and a coffee table tome? Should the paper stock be coated or uncoated? How many pages feels just right? I worked with the designer, Conor Lumsden, who visited from Dublin and we spent days making infinitesimally small adjustments to layouts and pages, arguing about the tails on capital Q’s, and printing out and mocking up true-to-size versions of book spreads, looking at them, living with them and floating them past my fellow residents until we landed on something just right. A screen is no substitute for the real thing!
My time at the Alpenhof allowed me to approach the end of this project with the single-minded focus required to sort through hundreds of images and thousand words and the time I needed to puzzle through some of the text’s challenges. Plus, it was fun! Shared meals, long walks, and a late night dance party to Andreas Züst’s record collection… the highlight of which was of course singles by the forever-cool Swiss fräuleinwunderpunks, Kleenex/LiLiPUT. I look forward to sharing their story, reframed and reexamined, with the world soon.
Text: Grace Ambrose
Ein Regal voller Geschichten aus meiner Perspektive,
und mein Begehren nach Geschichten.
Geschichten die schon lange Bilder in meinem Kopf sind,
festgeschrieben und stetig wiederholt.
Ein Regal verstaubt und vergilbt, voller Begehren nach Entdeckungen, voller Lust der Entdecker.
Menschen, Kultur, Landschaft – Fische, Steine, Säugetiere, Insekten, Pflanzen, Geologie, Physiognomie und das Wetter.
Sammeln, entdecken, erfassen, erforschen, vermessen, kartografieren, beschreiben, aufschreiben, usw.
Im Online-Katalog werden zum Begriff “postkolonial” (0 Bücher gefunden), zum Begriff “Feminismus” übrigens auch. Dafür gibt es das Schlagwort “Das Weib”.
Ich frage mich, was ich hier mache, in diesem Eldorado der Erzählungen. Große Erzählungen:
“Afrika und die Afrikaner”
“Von Pol zu Pol”
“Auf Großer Fahrt”
“Von Peking nach Moskau”
“Das Überseeische Deutschland”
“Die Deutsche Emin Pascha Expedition”
Jean de Lery, Humboldt, Kolumbus, Cook, usw.
Les Guides Bleus Illustrés, ein Reiseführer aus dem Jahr 1958. Von Paris nach Brazzaville (mit AIR FRANCE über Marseille, Fort-Land und Bangui) oder von Brüssel nach Léopoldville (über Genf und Tripoli) mit Karten und Abbildungen von den Denkmälern von König Albert I. und Henri Morton Stanley auf S.53, dazu Wasserfälle und Krokodile.
Durch die Mongolei,
zu den Feuerland-I* und zurück,
das Erklimmen von Berggipfeln,
Bilder von Wasserfällen,
Reisen zu Gletschern,
viele Strapazen und viele Entdeckungen.
Geschichten von Vielen, die die Ersten waren und davon berichten. Dazu nehme ich die zweibändige “Anleitung – zu wissenschaftlichen Beobachtungen auf Reisen in Einzel- und Abhandlungen” von 1906 zur Hand. Hier werden die Weltreisenden aufgefordert zu dokumentieren und zu erfassen, was sie zerstören. Wissen ist Macht steht da ganz unverhohlen, denn es geht um die Erschließung neuer Märkte. Schon immer, nur war mir das nicht klar, da ich an der Oberfläche der Geschichten klebte.
Ein Regal in dem sich diese eine und meine Perspektive kristallisiert. Bücher die ich nicht mehr lesen will, mich aber frage, wie ich mit ihnen umgehen kann. Denn da stehen sie. Sie stehen da immer noch und bewegen sich nicht weg aus all den Bibliotheksregalen. Gedruckt ist gedruckt und ich bin nicht die Erste, die sich die Frage stellt was ich mit diesem Regal anfangen soll. Beim Durchforsten der Regalbretter und Durchschauen der Bücher fallen mir kleine und große handgeschriebene Zettel in die Hände. Auf ihnen haben die Künstler:innen Luisa Marinho und Miro Spinelli postkoloniale Ansätze etwa von Grada Kilomba oder Suely Rolnik als Reaktion auf die in diesem Regal dominante Perspektive aufgeschrieben. Eine subtile Einschreibung in die eurozentrische Perspektive und ich überlege, ob nicht alle Bücher ein Glossar problematischer Begriffe, eine Kontextualisierung, eine Triggerwarnung vor gewaltvollen Bildern und Texten benötigen. Aber was mache ich jetzt mit diesen Büchern, die ich gar nicht mehr lesen und auch nicht bearbeiten will? Sie einfach im Regal ruhen lassen, gezielt an ihnen vorbei greifen, als nicht mehr adäquate Literatur?
Mit Laurence und Mirjam diskutiere ich am Abend den Zusammenhang zwischen meinen Überlegungen zu den kolonialen Reiseberichten und der 2018 erschienen und kommentierten Neuausgabe von “Mein Kampf“ – das hier im Original im Regal steht.
Dieser Text entstand am 22. November 2020, an meinem letzten Tag in der Residency Bibliothek Andreas Züst. Im September 2021 habe ich die Fußnoten eingefügt und im April 2022 habe ich den Text noch einmal gelesen und gekürzt.
 Luisa Marinho und Miro Spinelli waren im November 2017 in der Residency Bibliothek Andreas Züst.
 Die Dokumentarfilmemacher:innen Laurence Favre um Mirjam Landolt waren zeitgleich im November 2020 in der Residency Bibliothek Andreas Züst und wir haben viele Mahlzeiten und Überlegungen in dieser Zeit miteinander geteilt.
Text: Frauke Zabel
November 2020/April 2022
Anthropologist Anna Tsing talks about “hope” in an interview, saying that “in arts, humanities and sciences we got hooked on hope and we wanted to believe in our creative possibilities. An ungrounded optimism which suggested that we didn’t have to worry.” Citing Donna Harraway, she says that her way of telling stories of terrible things aims to make listeners “stay with the trouble”: “to engage with the kinds of problems they were involved in rather than running away from them.”
Thinking about contemporary art today, “hope” is very much expected everywhere, even though we are at a place where “nothing would grow”, we are expected to create something which warms us up or gives us a light of the possibility of growing out of this much stronger. It even implies the one direction road, which is “the growth”, further and better.
Looking at the archives of Andreas Züst, while you get lost in the 20th century, you also get a bit closer to the burning core of our life in the 2020s, like you are walking towards the center of a power plant.
Once you get out of Alpenhof you find yourself on an asphalt road and you have to claim it for yourself as a pedestrian to go anywhere. It is the only way to walk in the area other than the small semi-public paths that circle around private properties, unless you don’t want to go into the woods.
In the library, when reading the book Die Schweizer Autobahn, I am being told about different layers of asphalt; 1m thick asphalt sticking to people’s feet and the house facades in the early days of asphalt, different catastrophe phantasies and asphalt as an escape tool governments used to promote highways, asphalt as a means of preventing uprisings and to control, asphalt as a propaganda instrument and an embodiment of ‘beauty and nation’ in the NS era of Germany, asphalt as a tool to turn the nature into resorts for city dwellers in the US and Switzerland, and asphalt building as a charity activity for getting closer to god.
Although rural areas in Switzerland like where the library is are mostly surrounded by asphalt roads and highways, I could find just a handful of books on them in the collection. Maybe the method of finding an unknown subject and transforming it into a knowable with a certain anthropocentrism is less applicable, in this case, than to other subjects such as sky, cosmos, seas or UFOs, on which you find plenty of books in the library. For the subject to be transformed into a more knowable, it should appear first as an unknown. When this unknown status stands in contrast with the stable circumstances in which one lives, it gives them a certain confirmation of their security. Similar to how horror films satisfy people.
Historically in many sciences, not unlike the fields of anthropology, geology and cosmology, the cultural perception of the scientist is very much shaped by a gendered understanding of that figure, who inhabits qualities that are traditionally attached to masculinity. These qualities assume that masculinity is somehow naturally connected to certain types of curiosities that are often utilized for the advancement of all humanity. These individualist versions of masculinities share a commonness when looking at the stars, or climbing on top of a high mountain; cataloging outer space objects, as well as plants and animals.
When going through various catalogs of meteoroids and other space objects at the library, one can also wonder about the fundamental connections between masculinity and humanism that are naturally embedded in the history of cosmology. As cosmologist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein points out, back in the 20th century many men in the scientific community were driven by the sense of individual success, but the ways of the “olden days” are still not much changed. Looking at the stars, and in general, exploring outer space are still fueled by the narratives of “carrying the torch of humanity” type of individualist génie spirit.
Autobahn, Meteoriden, Höhlen, Männerphantasien, Documenta 2 is a zine we worked on during the residency at Bibliothek Andreas Züst, made with the materials we found in the library. It will be published by Well Gedacht Publishing in April 2022.
Within this residency, the building’s space and functions organization constituted my exploratory foci. I was interested in Andreas Züst residency building, not as an architectural object but more in investigating its internal functional system, individualizing elements like: space structure, social interaction’s rhythms, program and the different function’s relationships.
The entity brought together functions such as a library, a community room, private living spaces, a terrace, and services. While programmatically, it hosts an artistic residency, hotel rooms, public gatherings, workshops…etc. In some periods, all this functions can be operating at the same time.
Under this situation, processes like “transforming, “merging”, “juxtaposing”, “combining”, “hybridizing” are applied to the Andreas Züst residency’s functions. It was fascinating to experiment and to observe this “hybrid way of living” during my stay. I believe in architectures that have the capacity to change and adapt to different conditions and needs. Temporary architecture and temporary functions allows us to explore unknown territories: I believe that ephemeral goes far beyond the meaning of short duration, it triggers a semantic stratification processes that transform the space into a common place.
My project the library never die, explores and takes inspiration from all this processes , applied to a different context in Morocco, where usually libraries are monofunctional and non-permeable spaces.
The project is a peculiar library implemented in a vacant site in Casablanca’s old Medina, in a poor neighborhood. The aim of the library’s existence in this site is to constitute a primary structure to inject other functions (parasitical structure) that the population needs in an never ending transformation.
The result is mobile, unstable, provisional, and dynamic. Strange shapes that open-up uncovering instant squares, temporary structures that get reorganized according to specific needs. Some of these works arise on the same site where others just disappeared, giving birth to chains and creating spaces in progress, evolving, always uncompleted. They are, literally, «provisional constructions», built to supply a specific need and intended to be replaced by something else. At the same time, however, they are «provident constructions», able to see beyond their temporary utility and to imagine the place they occupy after their own disappearance.
Text: Fatim Benhamza