Lumpen Universität

Espace libre, 10 April – 29 May 2017, Biel/Bienne (solo show)

Lumpen Universität is a long term project which took place in espace libre Biel for almost two months. This work was inspired by “hobo culture” and the Hobo University in Chicago which opened in 1920. It is also possible to find roots in “house of people » invented by the early anarchist movement. Every week a programme of activities and conferences were presented in the space and creative or alternative documentation was produced. Several guests came to share the audience, research, discussions or workshops with me.

The main idea was to present my position as both an invited artist and as a student, or someone learning in real time, being inspired by other people and the surroundings of the work in progress exhibition. My artisticproduction was influenced by the various situations and discussions during the programme.

Throughout the exhibition I presented myself as director-student of this university and welcomed people in the space 4 days per week while I was preparing activities, reading or creating objects.

The result was an installation realised with notes I took during all the various activities. Several movies were produced, a part of them are archives of Lumpen activities, others are being considered as specific productions during the ”work in progress ». They are based on free speech, real time questioning of the on-going work and the wish of creating a transmission of knowledge passing through the exhibition. Most of the movies were posted on youtube each week to open the questions addressed in the space also on a virtual stage.

On the other hand, this work was also a great opportunity for me to share books which have been very important in the construction of my artistic position and to do it in a direct way. Lumpen Universität was a platform where people could meet and speak about their influences, artistic subjects but also mix disciplines with the wish to take on all inputs in a horizontal perspective. Most of the time people were hanging around, organising an improvised dinner or just sharing moments. On purpose I’m not presenting all those spontaneous situations as part of my work.

My position is to avoid « esthétique relationnelle”. As a result, all relations which happened there form part of the whole experience which I tried to resume in different forms. Those works are my interpretation of what happened – they are “personal notes » and this is what I consider as my artistic works.

Artists invited to contribute to the programme of Lumpen Universität were:

Antoine Läng (Geneva), Marcel Freymond (Zurich), Valentina Pini (Zurich), Karaoké Philosophique (Geneva), Nicolas Raufaste (Biel), Arnaud Wohlhauser (Basel), Cristian Valenzuela (Bruxelles), Viruuunga (Lugano), Roberto Biolzi (Lausanne)