CLUB UNIVERS
Club Univers Angèle Siegenthaler, Katharina Kemmerling, Gregory Stäuble, Linda Wunderlin, Dario Zeo, Sebastien Rück, Davide Wouda, Iris Brodbeck, Manuela Cossalter, Laura Mietrup, Aline Stalder, Chris Handberg, Cyril Hübscher, Njomza Sadikaj, Simone Steinegger, Aysa Stettler, Nadine Cueni, Markus Aebersold, Anna Diehl, Ambra Viviani and Manuel Koechli. Display idea by Ambra Viviani Curated by Chus Martínez | Assistant Curator Eveline Wuethrich
26 Nov – 15 Jan 2017

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27 November 2016 - 15 January 2017
Opening Reception and Book Launch: 26 November 2016, 5pm
[Chus Martínez, Club Univers Vol. I, Sternberg Press]

Club Univers, or the Principle of Total Inclusion
Much has been written about tolerance, but only now do we sadly discover the need for a strong practice of inclusion. With this project, we’ve made a start: does it make sense to include every artist who wants to participate in the project and every piece that they propose? If ten to fifteen years ago every panel on “curating” began by addressing the policies of selection, today, here, instead, we avoid these policies completely. I call this exhibition an exercise in inclusion, though by doing so I do not wish to suggest it is any less of an exhibition. It is a presentation of artworks by artists that follows a certain principle, a principle which both allows viewers to address each and every object and places viewer, artist and object into a relationship.

The premise of this group show emerged in an early meeting, during which we addressed the simple idea that to think the world differently would require new organs and senses to feel the world differently. This premise has been disparately understood by each and every artist involved. Certain understandings of the curatorial practice have problems with this sort of disparity. Is curating not there to create coherence in the proposal offered to the viewer? Yes and no. Because institutions are coherence machines and because our social and political systems strongly empower and endorse pragmatic, coherent viewpoints, it could be argued that it is specifically disparity which we need most to address and embrace. Oh! But it’s not the same to promote total inclusion in art as it is to do so in society, you reply. But why not? Today, art not only offers us the perfect ground for expanding our inherited notions of experience and of the role played by the senses in what we can know and understand; art also contributes to philosophy - even of the moral sort - by exemplifying and embodying principles, such as inclusion, that are necessary to the renewal of our social contract.

Looking at the language of art-related communications these days, the word “immersion” appears often. Thus, borrowing from philosopher Martha Nussbaum, we could say that “...immersion in art ... make[s] us better citizens or better people.” I’m not so sure I would say “immersion,” but I do say that even our small act of presenting these many artworks and artists to you can reveal inclusion - and, as a preparation for larger tasks like combatting xenophobia, the perception of the particular and possibly unique features of concrete situations - as the new “institutional critique”. Chus Martínez

Special thanks to Samuel Leuenberger and the SALTS team for inviting Institut
Kunst. SALTS is kindly supported by Swisslos Basel-Landschaft, Fondation Nestlé pour l’Art, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and Stiftung Roldenfund.

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