Art Dock, Zürich

Art Dock, Zürich, is the idealistic anarchy of Ralph Baenziger.

It is a marvelous vision, an incredible space, a mammoth project powered by the indefatigable personality of Ralph, benefiting immensely by his knowledge, connections, friendships, passion, impeccable taste. It is wonderful.

And, it is stymied by his ideals, anarchy, and personality. Nevertheless, aided by a rotating roster of talented, selfless staff volunteers, Ralph, by dint of superhuman work, effort, luck and rock hard perseverance/stubbornness, makes Art Dock work.  His many detractors will also admit: he’s got a damned good thing going.

Click on images to enlarge:

Housed in the last of the undemolished train loading docks, Art Dock is nestled in an industrial parking area.

The penultimate exhibit was a fascinating collection of Zürich artists, past and present.

Entitled WahnWeltWellen (Delusional World Waves,) it brought in 77 artists, presented over 1,800 pieces, and ran from April to December, 2015.

This post is merely to show the space; the artworks exhibited will be featured in a catalog. One hopes.

Spaces within the spaces were expertly created. Ralph, being a good carpenter, made the lofts and panels.

The space, the art, the people—both crew and visitors.
These are the ingredients which make Art Dock so special.

It is the art of Zürich artists, for the people of Zürich: denizens and visitors alike.
It serves as a historical archive, a pedagogical collection, a social hub.

To go through the collection with Ralph is to hear the stories of each of the artists.
Many of them Ralph knew well personally. Quite a few have left us.

During a great flurry of photographing the works (Marcel), packing and returning everything (Lucas, Heinz, Beat) and keeping track (Elizabeth), a new show was installed, almost simultaneously.

Ester Brunner (Zh-Paris)

and Piro Authenheimer (Basel) are both now showing at Art Dock.

In the few weeks I have been around the works, I found many artists I love. There are too many to feature in this post, but here are three of my favorite pieces (credit, to come):

Look forward to the next exhibition: Frauen Power!

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Art Dock, Zürich

One thought on “Art Dock, Zürich

  1. Rembert says:

    1916 Zürich was the epicenter of a revolt against the seemingly inevitable logic of Europes military machinery. Artists were the first, who vociferous satirized the lunacy of a system, to which many could not even think an alternative. And their attacks continue to have an effect. “Stop making sense” is still a device, where the absurdity of fossilized conditions gets dragged onstage.

    2016 Europe commemorates not only another year of WW I, but also 100 years of DADA. Zürich, the beautiful, celebrates as usual: Thoroughly and solid. And it is definitely worth to see its historic center with that small tavern, where it all began in February 2016. http://www.dada100zuerich2016.ch/ But may be, the spirit of that moment, in which a few people took up the fight against the overpowering globaloney, is now to find rather in the niche next door, than in placid art institutions. Does not Art Dock show more of that rebellious esprit, that has been at home in Zürich 100 years ago? And how encouraging, that these not so very young people stay unwavering and defend their place in a glossy city.

    Common sense seems to be in a downturn in many respects and all the more important is every place, where basic alternatives are represented in a lively style. For example this blog.

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