Special Projects by 2023 Swiss Art Awards’ Laureates


Bureaucracy Studies (Critique, Publishing, Exhibition)

Who writes in Easy Language, and for whom? To mark the third issue of the Journal of Bureaucracy Studies, “a journal about art and other things in life”, Nicole Grieve, Leonore Schubert and Matthias Sohr will discuss the potential of Easy Language and inclusive communication. The panel, who have over- lapping expertise in the areas of art, curation, cultural policy and cultural mediation, will use their own experience to discuss working with Easy Language guidelines, the challenges of multilingualism and fair pay on the primary and secondary labour markets. They will also give an overview of the art and other things in life that are currently preoccupying and motivating them.

Nicole Grieve is a neurodivergent philologist and cultural manager. Her “Crossing the Röstigraben” office works to remove barriers to inclusion for people with disabilities in the cultural sphere. Until 2024, she was responsible for French-speaking Switzerland at Pro Infirmis’s Fachstelle Kultur inklusiv (inclusive culture department).

Leonore Schubert is a communication and product designer and is studying for a Master’s in Curatorial Studies at the Goethe University / Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main. Until 2023, she was Head of Communications at the Museum für Moderne Kunst (Museum of Modern Art), Frankfurt am Main.

Matthias Sohr is an artist and historian and won the Swiss Art Award 2023 in the “Critique, Publishing, Exhibition” category for Bureaucracy Studies. He is co-director of the CIRCUIT Centre for Contemporary Art, Lausanne.


detritus. (architecture)

Gum Gum

The Messe is a vast and empty space, a volume equipped to become anything. From June 10 to June 16, 954 solid wood panels coated with numerous layers of paint are installed end-to-end in hall 1.1, thus hosting the Swiss Art Awards exhibition. 49 of these panels have been hacked by detritus. to materialize Gum Gum.

During the annual art fairs, the price of accommodation in Basel rises significantly. The city becomes unaffordable for part of the artists selected as finalists for the Swiss Art Awards – while the Messe spaces remain unoccupied at night. Gum Gum questions the mono-functionality of our urban spaces by injecting a new domestic layer into the scenography of the Swiss Art Awards. A temporary accommodation program is added to the exhibition, inviting the 2024 edition finalists to a short nocturnal residency.

Steel tubes supported by thin clamps activate the exhibition panels. The white surfaces begin to merge, rotate, and lift to articulate three complementary spaces, fragments of the archetypal hotel room – the bed, the wardrobe, and the worktable. The panels’ unfolding reveals the interiority of the project, where backstage materiality collides with the motel’s seventies aesthetic. By day, the installation’s presence can only be read through the mysterious metal wall pieces.

By making the pre-existing wooden panels the main protagonists of its installation, Gum Gum limits the volume of new material. The 7 rooms arrived in Basel in a simple van, with the tools needed for their construction. This approach underlines the tradition of re-use at the heart of the Swiss Art Awards’ scenography, which detritus. also cherishes. After the end of the exhibition, the built devices – now orphaned from the panels – will join detritus.’s material library and soon infiltrate other spaces.

Gum Gum is part of detritus.’s larger research on conjuring tricks that can expand existing space to avoid new constructions. By exploiting vacant volumes, both daily and annually, the use of our built environment can be deepened. Programs superimpose and space becomes double. More than a staging of domesticity, Gum Gum is an infiltration of domestic and economic reality into an exhibition hall.

During the 6 nights of the Swiss Art Awards, detritus. embraces the role of concierge. Each evening, during the last two hours of the exhibition, detritus. unfolds the seven Gum Gum rooms one by one in a slow, transformative performance.

detritus. warmly thanks the IKEA Foundation for its support, Léa Fluck and the entire Swiss Art Awards team for this exciting collaboration and their warm welcome to Basel, Simon Deppierraz for his invaluable help, Charlotte Truwant and Dries Rodet for letting Gum Gum infiltrate their plans, and finally Victoria Easton, Catherine Gay and Mia Hägg, who, together with last year’s jury, trusted us when the project featured improbable suspended structures.

BAK, Swiss Art Awards 2023, Gina Folly

BAK, Swiss Art Awards 2023, Gina Folly

BAK, Swiss Art Awards 2023, Gina Folly