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Andreas Heusser

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Andreas Heusser (born 1976) is a Swiss conceptual artist and curator, based in Zurich and Johannesburg.


Artistic approach

Andreas Heusser's artistic approach can be described as creating long-term fictional realities made from contemporary real-world patterns. The works react upon and interact with a specific cultural or political situation while being created within that context, with that particular audience, and within the social space of everyday life. Andreas Heusser uses various media and skills in order to accomplish the aimed – often political – effects. The works can be enacted at any site – in galleries and museums, on the internet, on the street, or even in remote areas.

Exploration of Nothing

Since 2013, Andreas Heusser has devoted himself to the exploration of nothing in art, philosophy and science. This has developed into the No Show Museum, a museum dedicated to nothing and its various manifestations throughout the history of art. The museum's collection includes around 400 works and documents from over 120 international artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum also has a mobile presentation space in a converted postal car. From July to October 2015, the No Show Museum was on tour through Europe, staging around 30 exhibitions in 20 different countries, before finally arriving in Italy, as an official participant of the 56th Venice Art Biennale. The museum reproduces the typical structures, mechanisms, rituals and strategies of established art institutions. As a result, the project becomes a model in which we can observe the contextual conditions that are required for the recognition of something (or nothing) as art. Implicit in the project, then, is the question: What is needed for a successful promotion and marketing of art? In the summer of 2016, the mobile museum was shipped from Europe to America with the mission to spread nothing in the New World: The 80-day exhibition tour led from New York to Canada, then to the West Coast of the U.S., and finally down to Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Art Activism Projects

Between 2009 and 2011, Andreas Heusser produced a series of large scale projects that bridge the gap between art and activism. Designed to reach not only the art scene, but to achieve a political effect on the general public, those projects often took place outside of art institutions, and involved public interventions, websites, social media, press releases, and other forms of dissemination. Using methods like parody, satire, interventions, and tactical obfuscation, he created fake organizations and corporations (including counterfeiting sites, media hoaxes and artificial characters) through imitating real corporations and political organizations. Tactics like subversive affirmation and overidentification were used to create controversy and generate media coverage in dominant media outlets. Despite the satiric content, those fake identities were often mistaken for the real thing and their critiques were not readily intelligible to audiences. For example, in cooperation with Nüssli / Oeschger, he launched a counter-propaganda in order to subvert a xenophobic campaign of the swiss right wing party (SVP) by creating a twin-organization that was even more extreme in its claims – to a degree that it became ridiculous (OLAF, 2010). Although the media coverage in the Swiss and international press was considerable, it did not put the Swiss electorate off from accepting the deportation initiative. Another example is the CHASOS Campaign, launched in 2011 as a satirical reaction on how media and politicians portrayed negative images and reinforces prejudices and fears by evoking the dystopia of gigantic waves of refugees which are alleged to flood Switzerland after the Arab Spring.

Openair Literatur Festival Zürich

Andreas Heusser is the founder and director of the Openair Literatur Festival Zürich, an international literary festival which annually takes place for the duration of a week in the Old Botanical Garden in Zurich, since 2011. The festival is jointly presented by Kaufleuten and Literaturhaus Zurich, in cooperation with other cultural institutions. The festival has featured artists of international renown, such as John Cleese, Sven Regener, Teju Cole, Xiaolu Guo, Gerhard Rühm and Friedrich Achleitner, Roger Willemsen, Gerhard Polt.

The Institute

Andreas Heusser is a founding member and Co-Director of The Institute, a project space for performing and transdisciplinary arts in Zurich. Several artists collectives from different artistic fields (film, music, dance, literature, performance) are involved and contribute with weekly events and performances to the public programme of the venue which also includes research and workshops.


Between 2011 and 2013, Andreas Heusser was the Program Director of the cultural venue "Kaufleuten" where he was responsible for the curation and implementation of around 200 cultural events per year, including concerts by international artists and bands, readings, podiums and cabaret events.

Series and Festivals

In 2001, Andreas Heusser founded together with Marc Rychener the interdisciplinary artist collective index based in Zurich. With index he organized a number of concert series, performances and festivals (e.g. "Festival der Künste" 2002, "Lyrik am Fluss" 2002–2005). In 2005, he initiated the international Artist-in-Residence-program Freiraum-Stipendium which is open to artists from all disciplines. In 2005, Andreas Heusser converted his artist studio at Elisabethenstrasse 14a into a cultural venue, where he staged 3–4 events per month until 2011, including a program cinema ("Kino im Atelier") and the concert and performance series "Mikro".


After completing the intermediate diploma in Psychology (1999–2001), Andreas Heusser studied Philosophy and German Literature at the University of Zurich, closing with a master degree in both subjects (2003). Between 2011 and 2013 he attended the Bern University of Arts and completed another master degree in Contemporary Arts Practice (Fine Arts).

Solo Exhibitions

  • Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles, California, USA, 10/2016
  • CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, San Francisco, California, USA, 10/2016
  • CCA Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, 10/2016
  • Ice Cube Gallery, Denver, Colorado, USA, 09/2016
  • Fort Gondo, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 09/2016
  • Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 09/2016
  • Spread Arts Gallery, Detroit, Michigan, USA, 09/2016
  • Scrap Metal Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 09/2016
  • Enriched Bread Artists, Ottawa, Canada, 08/2016
  • Die Diele, Zürich, Switzerland, 08/2016-9/2016
  • Fresh Window Gallery, New York, USA, 08/2016
  • 56. Biennale di Venezia, Salon Suisse / Palazzo Trevisan and Lido, Venice, Italy, 10/2015
  • Lauba Gallery, Zagreb, Croatia, 10/2015
  • Chimera-Project Gallery, Budapest, Hungary, 10/2015
  • Umelka Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia, 09/2015
  • Vienna Contemporary, International Art Fair, Vienna, Austria, 09/2015
  • #Poligon Art Space, Warsaw, Poland, 09/2015
  • Tallinn Art Hall, Estonia, 09/2015
  • Luda Gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia, 09/2015
  • Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland, 08/2015
  • Tenthaus, Project Space, Oslo, Norway, 08/2015
  • Sixtyeight, Project Space, Copenhagen, Danmark, 08/2015
  • Grimmuseum, Berlin, Germany, 08/2015
  • Island, Project Space, Hamburg, Germany, 08/2015
  • Wolfart Project Space, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 08/2015
  • Museum Strauhof, Zürich, Switzerland, 07/2015
  • The Institute, Zürich, Switzerland, 05/2015
  • Group Exhibitions

  • "Ours Is Not The Only Planet Earth Has Been", Ballroom Projects, Chicago, 10/2016
  • d.i.v.o. Institute, Kolin, Czech Republic, 09/2015
  • Survival K(n)it Festival 7, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Riga, Latvia, 09/2015
  • Kling-Festival, Mansbach, Germany, 08/2015
  • "Vitrine 05", Die Diele, Zürich, Switzerland, 12/2015
  • Kabinett der Visionäre, Chur, Switzerland, 06/2015
  • Doing Nothing Festival, Dock 18, Rote Fabrik, Zürich, Switzerland, 5/2015
  • "Vitrine 04", Die Diele, Zürich, Switzerland, 12/2014
  • "Vitrine 03", Die Diele, Zürich, Switzerland, 12/2013
  • "Show Me Show Me Show Me", CentrePasqArt, Biel, Switzerland, 6/2013
  • Swiss Art Awards, Art Basel, Switzerland, 6/2011
  • Werkpreis Kanton Zürich, F+F Schule, Zürich, Switzerland, 10/2011
  • Awards and Grants

  • 2012 Award for Communication of Arts, Popkredit, City of Zurich
  • 2011 Swiss Art Award, Nomination, National prize competition for Art
  • 2011 Werkpreis Kanton Zürich, Nomination
  • 2005 1. prize winner of fiction contest of Solothurner Literaturtage
  • 2002 Grant of Vontobel Foundation
  • References

    Andreas Heusser Wikipedia

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