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17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
22 May - 21 Nov 2021
Salon Suisse
«Salon Suisse» at the 17th Biennale Architettura: Bodily Encounters

«Salon Suisse» at the 17th Biennale Architettura: Bodily Encounters

Organised by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, the «Salon Suisse» runs concomitantly to the exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion and is now in its ninth year. The programme consists of a series of lectures, talks and cultural events, and, over several long weekends, aims to provide a meeting point for the entire duration of the Biennale. It offers an opportunity to discuss art and the Biennale in a relaxed and stimulating atmosphere.

Evelyn Steiner, curator at the ZAZ (Zentrum Architektur Zürich, Switzerland), has developed the programme for the «Salon Suisse» at the 17th Biennale Architettura.

«Bodily Encounters revolves around the fundamental relationships between body and architecture: when space is being experienced, the body serves as the most important system of orientation and measurement. Architecture protects the body, extends it and condenses its memories. Furthermore, the built environment touches all our senses and influences our psyche. Last but not least, architecture itself constitutes a body and a living organism, especially with regard to the increasing interconnection of the physical world and the virtual world.
 
Accordingly, anthropomorphic concepts essentially define architectural theory: since antiquity, the body has served as the unit of measure for the design of architecture. The built environment also has a reciprocal effect on the body and creates the stage where human beings interact – it cements social norms, sets limits, and assists in the fabrication of identities. 
 
Following the tradition of the Salon and its claim of reigniting a culture of stimulating debate and social encounter in an agreeable ambience, the manifold encounters between body and architecture are examined from different perspectives, concentrating on three topics: at the first Salon in September, the emphasis is on viewing built structures as animated independent organisms, the spatial gestures of which enter into a dialogue with the human being. The Salon in October focuses on how architecture creates standardised realities that define our coexistence. Within the third and last Salon in November, bodily alterations and optimisation measures, such as body hacking or anti-ageing procedures, are assessed and fructifiedfor architectural discourse. As a result of its broad approach, Salon Suisse deals with a multitude of disciplines and themes, such as transhumanism, psychoanalysis, neurosciences, literature, interior design, disability studies, fluid spaces, habitation, mood-sensitive houses and many more. 
 
This is all geared towards not only those involved in the practice and teaching of architecture, but also, most importantly, everyday experts who wish to enrich the discipline of architecture with their knowledge – in short, everyone who wants to have new bodily encounters and experiences, and to explore the multifarious dimensions of the body and of architecture.» 
 
—Evelyn Steiner


Pro Helvetia announces architect and curator Evelyn Steiner as Salonnière for the Salon Suisse in 2021

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia is pleased to announce Evelyn Steiner as next year's Salonnière for the program of the Salon Suisse taking place at the Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi during the 17th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. Evelyn Steiner will be directing and hosting the Salon Suisse in 2020 around a theme to be released soon. 

Evelyn Steiner (* 1981, Zug) is an architect and art historian, currently holding the position of curator at the ZAZ (Zentrum Architektur Zürich, Switzerland), where she is working on an exhibition about pioneering female architects in Switzerland. After completing her architectural studies in Zurich (ETH) and Buenos Aires, she worked in different architecture practices in Rome, Barcelona and Zurich. In 2012, she received a Master of Arts in Art History at the University of Berne with a special qualification in Curatorial Studies and Museology. She then moved to Frankfurt to work at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (2012-2014). From 2014 to 2016 she was curator at the S AM (Swiss Architecture Museum) in Basel, where she curated the exhibitions «Constructing Film. Swiss Architecture in the Moving Image and Aristide Antonas. Protocols of Athens », among others. Afterwards, she worked as a freelance curator and writer, and as an assistant lecturer at Hochschule für Gestaltung Basel at the Institute of Interior Design and Scenography. 

Organized every year by Pro Helvetia, the Salon Suisse runs concomitantly to the exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion during both the Biennale Arte and Biennale Architettura. Consisting of a series of talks and other cultural events, the Salon Suisse provides an opportunity to further investigate and experience art and architecture in a reflective, participative and casual atmosphere.