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u – New Project Spaces - Akademie - Kunsthalle Zürich

u – New Project Spaces

Eyrie Alzate, Jason de Haan, Nancy Lupo, Na Mira, Malcolm Mooney, Yuki Okumura, Hikari Ono, Francesca Percival, Bea Schlingelhoff, Jo-ey Tang, Cici Wu, Bruno Zhu and u

Opening of part 1:
February 23, 2024, 7pm

Opening of part 2:
May 16, 2024, 7pm

Special opening hours during Zurich Art Weekend:
June 7, 2024, 11 am–2 pm and 5–9pm
June 8, 2024, 4–8pm

u is part artist, part vessel—a transferable personal alias, and a social interaction. u’s project spaces (2018–ongoing) are small boxes made of clear packing tape that act as a medium for collaborations with other artists and curators. u initiates the process by sending an empty project space to selected practitioners as an invitation to join an artistic dialogue, a new relationship and often a finished artwork. Thus u also performs the role of a curator by providing each participant carte blanche within an exhibition space that is small, but very flexible. As a result, the individual collaborators are foregrounded, while the initiator takes a backseat behind the easily overlooked lowercase letter ‘u’ (shorthand for the English word ‘you’). This collaborative way of thinking and working deliberately resists elaborate, commercial production mechanisms and allows for collaborations far beyond national borders. The heart of the project is to expand the concept of curating to include the interests of artists and to promote artistic exchange.

For Backrooms, new collaborations have been initiated with the artists mentioned above. The exhibition unfolds in two parts: first, the plain project spaces will be exhibited before being sent to the participants, and in the second part, the outcomes of the collaborations will be showcased.

All participants have created a joint playlist, which is played shuffle mode in the exhibition.
To the playlist on YouTube

Kunsthalle Zürich, basement

The project is generously supported by Canada Council for the Arts



A whisper behind a hand, a hatched plan, an embarrassing slip of the tongue, unexpected inspiration: these happen in the gaps, corridors and brief interactions on the way to other activities. In these liminal spaces — places as well as states — emerge zones of reverie with a psychological and social threshold character. They are marginal areas of ambiguous limbo where back doors are left open and free spaces unconstrained, thus generating potential for experimentation as well as for failure. 

Under the title Backrooms, a programme of events, readings, performances, screenings, concerts and other artistic formats will take place, organised by Otto Bonnen. The Löwenbräukunst offers various architectural and social spaces that Backrooms will engage with. Hidden, unoccupied spaces and informal break out rooms provide physical and structural spaces as well as collaborations that go beyond our walls with collectives or extra-institutional locations.

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