Around twice a year a workshop takes place at the Bibliothek Andreas Züst. For each workshop, a guest is invited to select a book from the collection of the library, which she or he will then use as the starting point for a two-day workshop. Incorporating book excerpts, discussions and associative journeys through the library, the basic idea is to approach a topic together. The workshop series is organized by Annett Höland and Simone Koller.

Workshops 2020/21
Past Workshops

The last workshop took place in October 2019. Together with economist Mascha Madörin and artist and curator Mirjam Bayerdörfer we were looking at economics from a feminist viewpoint. Why do (Swiss) women earn 100 mia. francs less than men? How is work and income related to money and power? Which strategies can we use to make these connections more visible and to take action towards a better future?

In September 2018 our guests were filmmakers Carmen Jaquier and Jan Gassmann. Based on a scene from a film script we were exploring the basics of filmmaking, trying out different roles in front and behind the camera. Another workshop was held in March 2018 by the designer Hanna Bergman, initiator of The Reading School, and the artist Marie Raffn. Using the smartphone as a tool and filter, we were looking for experimental ways of reading and writing. “Whether you are an accountant or a zoologist, chances are you use the written word everyday to inform, to document, to promote and to persuade.” (John Simmons) Guided by the English writer John Simmons, we explored writing and language, crossing the borders between different genres to see how fictional writing can be a positive influence on our everyday conversations and on everyday writing. In another workshop, led by artist Delphine Chapuis-Schmitz, we were using found text fragments from the library to create new texts by rewriting, recombining and editing them.

“…‘reading a book’ is just a variant of ‘gathering’ in the authentic sense. This means laying one thing next to another, bringing them together as one—in short, gathering…” (Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics, Trans. by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt, Yale University Press, 2000, p. 131)—Following this motto, 2012–2014, the library held five workshops: Proceeding from “Self and Others” by R.D. Laing, author and philosopher Aaron Schuster led the participants through the history of the psychiatry and anti-psychiatry movement. The second workshop explored everyday linguistics: In collaboration with artist Tine Melzer, a publication was created, in which idioms were taken ad absurdum. A year later, the artist, feminist, and art educator Doris Stauffer provided insight into her work and creativity. In the fourth workshop, using his books—of which twenty-two are to be found in the collection of the Bibliothek Andreas Züst—, artist, publisher, book dealer, and Rotaprint printer Jan Voss told about his way of making books, and, with the participants, produced “Leere Taschenbücher” (Empty Paperbacks). For the fifth workshop, improvisation musician Andy Guhl presented the main principles of his working process, and, with the participants, attempted to produce sound using the most rudimentary means available.


Mascha Madörin & Mirjam Bayerdörfer
Jan Gassmann & Carmen Jaquier
Hanna Bergman & Marie Raffn
John Simmons
Delphine Chapuis Schmitz
Andy Guhl
Jan Voss
Doris Stauffer
Tine Melzer
Aaron Schuster