Brig | Switzerland 03-08/20

I arrived in Switzerland one week before the lockdown facing not only the pandemic but also a three month isolation in my apartment and studio. Fortunately the residence was located in the old castle of Kaspar Stockalper built in the 17th century. On the bright side I could start working for my solo exhibition ‘Prosthetic Memories’ without any distraction. My focus was on wearable paper sculptures, taxidermy objects and some Covid related drawings. The residency lasted until August with the main exhibition in July when public events were possible again.

Born in isolation, the project “Prosthetic Memories” was originally inspired by Max Frisch’s story: Man appears in the Holocene. “Disasters are known only by man, nature knows no disasters” writes the author. His protagonist, alone in a valley in Ticino, he deals with the loss of memory in the narrative.

My own residency in JAPAN

Onishi: In 2019 finally I was able to acquire my own home in Japan. Before that I rented different places all these years, where I stayed for a few months. By the way, this is the first house I ever owned. Together with my family I hope to settle down here soon. The house consists mainly of an old part, which was built 80 years ago in the traditional style. The rooms for the children, the kitchen and the bathroom were later built in modern style. The newest structure on our property is the garage. It is huge and will be transformed into a stylish studio for my work. And a motorcycle for my husband, I guess.

About 90km from Tokyo it is a reasonable commute. With two Onsen in town and woods and mountains around the corner I experienced it as a perfect place for work and leisure. But best of all I made a lot of friend over the years, many of them artists, which I am so eager to meet.

Conceptual Garments | Onishi Japan

In Onishi I had the possibility to show the garments I made not only through an exhibition. Being blessed with such wonderful friends, who also can pose as such elegant models, I was able to present my garments in their best light. On the long shot this is the first step to develop a performance on stage, which will be shown in Japan in 2021.

Phenomena of Materialisation | Onishi JP

This time in my second hometown Onishi I was showing the output of my three month of work. On display were five different garments at the Kinuya building. It is a cultural hub in and a former silk trader shop about 300 metres from my own house I bought a couple of month later.

A month before I was part of the group show with three of the same garments. This exhibition by all the artists of the Shiro Oni residency was held in the old sake brewery.

Orifices Portraits | Daegu Korea

The experience in Daegu was shared with some Korean artists who also happened to share a residency space at that very same moment. And then I was lucky enough to team up with Adam a very gifted visual artist from Ireland. Under all the circumstances which some times made it not always easy for me as a foreign woman in Korea, Adam was my rock I always could hold on. The portrait sessions had some kind of special twist as I happened to create also transcultural garments which referred to Japanese and Korean history and methods of expression. This cultural crossover was quite delicate and not easy to handle as some tensions seem to be still unsolved.

Portraits | Solothurn CH

Solothurn, Switzerland was my first long lasting residency in Europe and believe it or not my first actual stay in this country despite it is neighbouring my homeland. In generally we speak the same language but in detail we differ a lot. Due to my own dialect I was soon able to understand most of the conversations, which was a main part to get closer to some locals and befriend them. To work with strangers who also happen to be not professionals models needs a lot of trust and confidence on both sides of the lens. In Switzerland I could built up this trust and create even some nude shots, which are not on display in the internet. The analogue photo portraits were not part of the exhibition which by itself was quite complex and diverse, displaying a broad sequence of my work at the time.

ARTIST ANITA GRATZER WORKSHOW