In the winter of 2018, Gessnerallee Zürich sent out an open call with the title «Im/Possible Spaces». What was being sought were experimental aesthetic approaches dealing with the Im/Possible. Not only Im/Possible in musical, theatrical, or visual terms, but also as socio-political premises – everything was possible. From 166 proposals, six of the submitted concepts were selected. The groups move in for two weeks either into the Nordflügel or the Südbühne and give a two-day glimpse into their work.

Adrian Ganea & Maria Guta

28 October - 17 November 2019

In a world oversaturated by digital data, mysticism and the paranormal are as popular as ever. As facts are gradually replaced by feelings and complexity by simple, reactionary positions, we undergo a perpetual shift towards a kind of archaic religiosity. Emerging technologies are increasingly incorporated in this form of postmodern spirituality, as the science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke pointed out: «Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic».

Cyberia is a twilight zone, a world in between the space of the Gessnerallee and a congruent computer-generated 3D environment. This hybrid world houses a symbiotic being, a synergy between the material body of a performer and a semi-autonomous humanoid CG avatar located in a bottomless pit of delusions. Between digital video projections and a physical setting, using the mechanics of a videogame with a motion-capture suit, we simulate an endless state just before the climax.

Olympia Bukkakis & Camille Lacadee
& Isabel Gatzke
«Under Pressures»

02 - 15 December 2019

We find ourselves in the social, political, environmental, and economic wreckage of decades of dominance of the neoliberal cult of the individual. In this context, where cost-saving measures have generated a discontent that serves as a fertile ground for right extremist ideas and where the egotism of global elites has triggered potentially catastrophic climate change and the collapse of our ecosystem, it is no longer possible to pretend that individuals exist only for themselves and detached from their surroundings: The interests of individuals are inseparable from those of the collective and also of the ecological system that sustain them.

Focusing on this interdependence, Under Pressures develops a series of personages, who continuously negotiate the ever-changing relationship between set, performer, and audience. Consisting of elastic material extended through stretching as well as via cutting and other techniques, the set only comes alive through the influencing exertion of the performer. Territories and shapes are produced, which the performers use as protection, hiding place, clothing, extension, and the means of reaching out. Taken to the limit of the material, Under Pressures is a game with no fixed point under the conditions of pressure, release, and rupturing. Here decay means that at any moment once again a new shape emerges.

Luisa Ricar
«Facing Others»

06 - 19 January 2020

Digital communication overcomes boundaries, opens up opportunities, and creates friendships. But through this means do we really go outside of our bubble? With whom can we and do we want to communicate and who has access to cross-border contact? Thereby is the «Digital Natives» generation really more open and unprejudiced and where does the threshold of the comfort zone lie?

Facing Others is a social experiment that serves to create a space that overcomes the Impossible: the Impossible created through societal structures, the fear of the foreigner, and based in maintaining individual comfort. During the experiment, the visitor has the opportunity to chat with a completely different person and using a software program to create an avatar of the other person, a person with whom she or he would otherwise never come into contact, a person who is one of the most vulnerable and isolated human beings in our society.

Come and leave your comfort zone – face the other!

- Black Performance Lab - 
Brandy Butler, Edwin Ramirez, Hermes Schneider, Meloe Gennai, Rahel El-Maawi
«We Real Cool»

02 - 15 March 2020

The Black Performance Lab provides Black Queer artists a safe space in which they can critically explore their biographical experiences. In workshops and courses, tools are made available to artists, which serve as a lens through which they can individually reflect upon their personal identification with «Blackness» and «Queerness». Because the laboratory is a space strictly limited to participants from the African Diaspora, it is also intended to be used as a source of unification of «Blackness», which has traditionally been splintered by colonialism and slavery. At the end of the laboratory, artists are free to share part of their personal dialogue with an audience. The laboratory creates new narratives and provides Black artists with the opportunity to develop their own ideas about how Black bodies can and will move in performative spaces.

Mars travel agency
«Fridge – of Space and Time»
an Experiment

27 April - 10 May 2020

In the beginning there was a fridge. And everything began with the opening of the fridge. At least a beginning began. And from the beginning a Something spread out: time and space and the universe. And there was the sausage and the cheese, the light and the humming of the cooling elements and everything spread out in the room, formatted, expanded, and deformed into infinity. Or until somebody closes the fridge again.

In their work planned for the Südbühne, the Zurich collective mars travel agency sees the fridge as the door to an impossible space-time world of perception. Here they manipulate, interpret, deform, and design the sense of time of the spectators and explore the perception of an event. Fridge is a spatial-temporal composition of image, sound, smell, and taste, completely without language.

Maya Rochat & Sarah Burger and Guests
«Sublime Reloaded»

18 - 31 May 2020

The sublime feeling described and analyzed in the Enlightenment unites the inherent contradiction that a natural event can be overwhelming – elementally speaking, violent – and, at the same time, it can be captivating and trigger wonder. In the Anthropocene epoch, the power of the sublime, once reserved for natural events, can be transferred to human actions: the sheer flood of consumer goods, the garbage washed up on the beaches of this world, the exorbitant wealth of the few, and the existential crisis of other human beings, the still-lasting beauty of natural and cultural powers and abilities, the intimate moments of love, the happiness of friendship, as well as the insights into and functioning of technical, physical, and biological interconnections, all characterize a world that is difficult to grasp. Our place earth has become an (im)possible place: it is a place of massive contrasts and incompatibilities, simultaneously hair-raising, stifling, and wonderful.

Sublime Reloaded is an extensive spatial installation incorporating large-scale prints, video projections, and sound as well as discarded, found, and contrived objects, which are performatively and musically expanded and transformed during the exhibition period.

Unterstützt von Ernst Göhner Stiftung und Migros Kulturprozent