Gewerbemuseum (english)



1 December 2013 to 9 June 2014


über Haut und Häute

Life is impossible without skin. As the largest organ, the skin shapes and protects the body and has unique and complex features. It marks the boundary between inside and outside, as well as between the system of the self and the system of the world. It has social, communicative and sensory functions, as well as erotic and symbolic significance. Skin reflects our identity, mirrors our emotions and is the locus for key events in our lives. It has always been an important theme in the arts and its qualities are also a source of inspiration for architecture and design; furthermore its actual substance has a long history of use in the form of leather and parchment. In medicine, too, experiments on skin are constantly leading to innovations, while more and more research is being conducted into the topical cultural phenomenon of the skin as a medium of communication – these areas, too, are represented in the exhibition.

The SKIN TO SKIN exhibition is devoted to the amazing qualities of skin in art, design and science. It invites the viewer to explore innovative work on and with skin and to discover current and past skin landscapes from widely differing perspectives.

With the participation of
Aziz + Cucher (US) / Sonja Bäumel (AT/NL) / Zane Berzina (LV/DE) / Angélica Dass (BR/ES) / Victoria Diehl (ES) / Jalila Essaïdi (NL) / Frank Fietzek (DE) / Sandrine Goessens (FR) / Imme van der Haak (NL) / Simon Hasan (GB) / Peter Hujar (US) / Theres Liechti (CH) / Julia Lohmann (DE/GB) / Lucy McRae (AU) / Nandipha Mntambo (ZA) / Alexander Müller-Rakow & Oscar Palou Ribò (DE/ES) / Fumie Sasabuchi (JP/DE) / Johanna Stierlin (CH) / Studio Formafantasma (IT/NL) / Hannah Villiger (CH) / Marlon Wobst (DE) / and various research institutions.

A special presentation called MATERIAL ARCHIV: Leather and animal skins is opening at the same time. This focuses on the skin of different species of mammals, fish and reptiles. It will provide background information on how leather is processed and finished, and tackle questions about sustainability and the protection of species. In addition, a series of experiments using materials will demonstrate novel methods of processing leather. The special presentation is a collaboration of the Gewerbemuseum with the Zurich University of the Arts.

With its two exhibitions SKIN TO SKIN and TATTOO and the special presentation MATERIAL ARCHIV: Leather and animal skins, the Gewerbemuseum is presenting a comprehensive, three-part show close enough to touch, as it traces the genius of skin and skins.