With Habib Afsar and Ipshita Maitra, I'm working from October 2023 to summer 2024 on the artist book Intimate Borders, whose publication will be accompanied by performances and various exhibitions in Switzerland, India and Pakistan (in planning).
As part of the side project Bewitching for the planned publication Doris Stauffer Sourcebook (in collaboration with Simone Koller), I will be with Esther Schena in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in spring 2024 for a collaboration with Kaali Collective. This residency will be followed by a project cycle with the feminist collective M.Paradoxa in Zurich. (Further details to follow.)
In cooperation with Spector Books, supported by Pro Helvetia.
FH Visual Communication – ZHdK
MA History of Art and Photography – History of Modern Era – UZH
CAS Arts and International Cooperation – ZHdK
Born in 1976, Mara Züst lives with her family in Zurich. She holds a diploma in Design (Visual Communication FH / Theorie der Gestaltung und Kunst, ZHdK), a Masters in Art History with a minor in Modern History from the University of Zurich and a CAS in Arts and International Cooperation (ZHdK). She works as an artist, mediator, author and researcher and is the person in charge of the estate of Andreas Züst which runs the Bibliothek Andreas Züst, Oberegg.
All experience is resource.
Mara Züst is a multifaceted artist directing her perception towards everyday phenomena or artistic-craft practices and tactics with a "hands-on" approach, often not only with immersion in the present, rather an expansion of descriptive traditions and as a testimony of experience. Concepts and Vermittlung, texts, artworks, books, exhibitions, workshops and lectures are part of her seemingly boundless field of work; in all forms, from fanzines by pupils to extensively researched work – Pursuit of Wonders, Doris Stauffer, Denn wenn Chloe Olivia mag …, Menschen Tiere Abenteuer, Kolkata—City of Print, Chapakhana Archive […]
As a curious artist, Mara Züst delves on the human condition. She depicts and she forms and nurtures new organs of somatic and neuronal thinking. She creates as solo artist or in collaborations – with magical realist openness and clarity in the orientation of the interventions and performative acts.
As an activist criss-crossing the que(e)r, the search for identity does not play the main role, but rather the desire to go off the grid, to feel out new grids, to test, to interpret and initiate liberation as an equally individual and collective process, for the visibility of the primal between "us" – and if necessary also against the dark sides of digital-algorithmic, echo chambers and identitaty politics.
As a time dancer who feels comfortable both on the boards of chronology and on the roofs of Kairos, she revels in the circulating and moving image of the possibility of eternity. Pre-writing her alphabet of attention to the living and tapping source layers on all plates and armed with artistic tactics, she rebells against an impending death of interiority and against an extinction of movements in local traditions and cultures. She firmly believes that the knowledge associated with these indigenous forms may be a catalogue of human expression in turning towards the world and the universal being.
As a square-breather, past the four corners:
Christoph Elias Meier in a translation by Habib Afsar
Awards / Grants / Residencies:
2023: Co-creation project grant by Pro Helvetia (with Habib Afsar and Iphsita Maitra)
2023: Work contribution by Pro Helvetia for Bewitching Source Material
2022: Denn wenn Chloe Olivia mag … awarded "Die 15 schönsten Bücher Österreichs 2022" (The 15 Most Beautiful Austrian Books 2022)
2021: Poster series Mini-Zine-Library awarded 100 Beste Plakate 21
2021: Artist in Residence at Pathshala South Media Institute, Dhaka (Bangladesh), for the project Chapakhana Archive
2020: Pro Helvetia research scholarship for Nepal
2019: Kolkata—City of Print awarded Walter Tiemann Main Prize
2018: Project grant by Pro Helvetia for Mini-Zine-Library
2016: Doris Stauffer. Eine Monografie awarded "Die schönsten Bücher 2016" (The Most Beautiful German Books 2011)
2014: Pro Helvetia research scholarship for Kolkata (India)
2011: Andreas Züst. Himmel awarded "Die schönsten Schweizer Bücher 2011" (The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2011)
2011: Andreas Züst. Himmel nominated for the International Photobook Award 2012
2010: Scenography of Andreas bis Züst – Eine Bibliothek auf Wanderschaft shortlisted for the Swiss Design Award 2009
2009: Memorizer. Der Sammler Andreas Züst awarded "Die schönsten Schweizer Bücher 2009" (The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2009)