Director of Kiosko Galería, an independent platform for emerging contemporary art based in Santa Cruz de la Sierra [BO], Raquel Schwartz participated in a research trip, in June 2022, to get in contact with the Swiss visual arts scene.
One of her goals was to connect with potential collaborators for «Life Plan for Art & Social Change / Landlocked Lands: Shifting Peripheries and Paradigms», a project selected in the framework of the To-Gather call for international collaborations, carried out by Pro Helvetia, of which Kiosko is a leading partner.
Travelling through Zurich, Basel, Bern, Valais, and Geneva, she visited residency spaces, art schools, exhibition venues, and artists’ studios, and met with various cultural practitioners.
Despite the tight schedule, Raquel says her trip was “a true knowledge learning experience”. She looked for artists working in different fields of production, like food, nature, and ecological projects, as well as artist-run spaces focusing on collaborative and alternative ways of doing art. “I met very interesting people and projects that gave me a lot of inspiration and ideas for future collaborations and the opportunity to start netting new networks,” she stated.
She highlights a meeting at the Valais School of Art (Édéha), where she had the chance to assist a class, and the more informal encounters she had with people from different backgrounds.
“It was really interesting to visit artists in their studios, getting to know their process and listening their personal stories. One artist in Geneva had a very difficult childhood. Coming as an immigrant with his mother, in early years he suffered evictions, had been homeless, and had to stay in the streets for long periods of time. He uses this experiences to develop a body of works (sculptures) that relates totally to that period of his life.”