56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia
09 May - 22 Nov 2015
Salon Suisse
Salon Suisse: S.O.S. Dada – The World Is A Mess

S.O.S. Dada – The World Is A Mess
Collateral Event of the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia

Responsible for the programme: Juri Steiner and Stefan Zweifel
Location: Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi, Dorsoduro 810, Vaporetto stop: Zattere

Partner of «Salon Suisse» is Laufen Bathrooms AG.
Media partner: terpentin.orgPOSTmatter

Running concomitantly to the exhibition at the Pavilion of Switzerland at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia organizes a Collateral Event entitled «Salon Suisse». The «Salon Suisse», now in its fourth year, is a programme of events and talks offering a platform for exchange on contemporary art and thought in a relaxed atmosphere.

Responsible for this year’s «Salon Suisse» are the two Dada-specialists Juri Steiner and Stefan Zweifel, who have put together an ambitious programme of events focusing on Dada’s cross-epochal force and timelessness, exploring the past, present and future of Dada.

To this day, Dada stands for the radical, avant-garde attempt to push boundaries and challenge established ideas. As relevant as ever in addressing contemporary social and cultural questions, Dada is the quintessential link between then and now. But can Dada still come to the rescue of art and literature after the Situationist International, after Fluxus, Pop and Punk, in a world that is a mess, as former US-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said recently?

«Salon Suisse» is sending out its own S.O.S. DADA to explore the Dionysian power of Dada with guests from all over the world at the historical Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi over the course of five weekends.

The opening event takes place on 9 May at 11am outdoors in front of the Palazzo Trevisan and is accompanied by a brunch. In a spiritistic night session from 10pm the Salonniers will, hand in hand with Manifesta 11 collect spontaneous messages in bottles.

«Collective Experiments», the first Salon (4 to 6 June) cherishes the practice of «dérive» (drifting). We will track down Babylonian babble, flashes of genius and team spirit in the bars of Venice and Matteo Bertelé will guide us to a hidden billiard saloon. Inquiry will be conducted into the operative complexities of art and politics in conjunction with black risotto and films.

The second «Salon Suisse» (10 to 12 September) entitled «Dionysius redivivus» will explore the Dionysian zones not merely ex cathedra or discursively, but across all the senses and nonsenses, in a program of films, performative readings, dance, sound configurations and a book launch in collaboration with Cabaret Voltaire. 

The third Salon (15 to 17 October) «YES and NO» approaches Dada’s negation of the negation and the Dadaist Rastaquères grand NO and duplicate DA-DA-YES. The Salonniers also look into the underexplored relationship between Dada and the African continent, as a means to develop alternative scenarios for the future and explore potential links of the Helvetian reference system of a «Genève internationale», with institutions such as the Red Cross and the United Nations in regard to current applications of the Salon’s subtitle, borrowed from Madeleine Albright, «The World Is A Mess».

On the very last weekend of the Venice Biennale, the «Salon Suisse» «Speculation» / «Speculatio mystica» (19 to 21 November) will leave the Palazzo Trevisan once again, this time rambling through churches in search of the universal spirit of Dada between fantasy, reason, memory, longing and speculation in a spiritual and poetic closing ceremony. A final dinner party will bring together a handful of artists and curators to celebrate the artist, poet and impresario Robert Filliou. This last weekend is powered by SWATCH.

For the duration of the series of events, the «Salon Suisse» is open three days a week, on Thursday to Saturday from 7.00pm.

For this year’s «Salon Suisse» the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Salonniers are proud work with the local collaborator Matteo Bertelé, and to collaborate with Prof. Hans Maria De Wolf (Free University of Brussels VUB and curator of the collateral exhibition ‘The Revenge of the Common Place’), Anders Kreuger (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp M HKA) and Phillip Van den Bossche (Museum by the sea for Belgian Mu.ZEE).