Intimate Borders

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).

With Edition Haus am Gern, supported by Pro Helvetia.


As part of the side project Bewitching for the planned publication Doris Stauffer Sourcebook (in collaboration with Simone Koller), I was 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. The publication of Doris Stauffer Sourcebook is planned for spring 2025.

In cooperation with Spector Books, supported by Pro Helvetia.


Mara Züst

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
April 2023

Awards / Grants / Residencies:

2024: Mini-Zine-Library shortlisted for the Swiss Design Award 2024

2024: Denn wenn Chloe Olivia mag … awarded "Best Book Design from all over the World 2024" by Stiftung Buchkunst

2023: Co-creation project grant by Pro Helvetia (with Habib Afsar and Ipshita 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)

1957 – An HET ANDRE BEHR PAMFLET by Andreas Züst

The Andreas Züst Estate includes several diaries that the artist used, in his early ...


artasfoundation, founded in 2011, is a Swiss foundation for art in conflict regions. It explores and discusses the potential of artistic contributions ...

Ausstellungen (Exhibitions)

At regular intervals exhibitions take place, whether from the estate of Andreas Züst or Mara Züst's own ...

Bewitching Source Material – Doris Stauffer Sourcebook expanded
Bibliothek Andreas Züst

Beginning in 2003, the Züst Estate’s 10,400 books were classified by Plinio Bachmann and inventoried by ...

Bibliothek Andreas Züst – Mediation

Since 2016 an expansion of the art mediation programme offered by the Bibliothek Andreas Züst is ...

Chakapkhana Archive

The Chapakhana Archive – engl. Archive of printing presses – was a collaborative artistic research project, initiated by the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute ...

Chapakhana Archive – On Tour

In the continuation of the project, some of the artists involved in Chapakhana Archive were able to travel to Switzerland in ...

Chapakhana Archive – Portfolio

As part of Chakapkhana Archive - On Tour, in fall/winter 2022 workshops were held at the Steindruckerei Wolfensberger, the Druckwerkstatt Zurich, and at Esther Schena Siebdruck. The ...

Cibachrome – Edition VFO

„Cibacrome“ was created for the winter 2014/15 Edition of VFO. The portfolio includes work from the artists ...

Denn wenn Chloe Olivia mag … – The Book

The late 1920s were a time of "women's exhibitions", internationally as well as in Switzerland. It is a time of awakening, of possibilities, in which self-confidently one's own room ...

Denn wenn Chloe Olivia mag … – Exhibition and Artworks

Based on the artist book Denn wenn Chloe Olivia mag ... (Because if Chloe likes Olivia ...), Marilin Brun and Mara Züst have created an exhibition for ...

Doris Stauffer – The Book

Produced during the period summer 2013 to autum 2015, a publication about the artist, art educator and feminist Doris Stauffer (1934–2017) titled „Doris Stauffer. A Monograph“ was ...

Doris Stauffer – The Exhibition

At the invitation of the Zurich off-space Les Complice the exhibition „Doris Stauffer – der januar ...

EIS (ICE) — The Exhibition

In the fall of 2020, Kunsthaus Luzern hosted the monothematic exhibition „Andreas Züst. Eis“. At the center of ...

Expanding Universe

The exhibition „Expanding Universe“ (2011/12), composed of work from the Estate of Andreas Züst and installed at ...

Fluorescent seas of fog

The book „Fluorescent Seas of Fog“ includes the most important component of Andreas Züst’s ...

Hands-on. Documentation of artistic-technical processes in print

From 2018 to 2021, Christoph Schenker, Michael Günzburger and Mara Züst developed and reviewed within the research project ...

Hier die Wolken!

Following an invitation from Art Exposure India in Kolkata, works by Andreas Züst and Mara Züst were presented ...


One of the indisputable cores of Andreas Züst’s artistic legacy is „Himmel“ (Heaven), a multimedia ...


Concept Website: Samuel Bänziger and Olivier Hug, Bänziger Hug GmbH
Texts: Mara ...

Intimate Borders of Liminal Love – The Book
Irene Lady Shiva

Irene Staub, also known as Lady Shiva, was a Zürich whore, artists’ muse, and ...

"It's never completely still", the girl says ...

In her research for the project Chapakhana Archive, Mara Züst focused for "It's never completely still", the girl says. She holds up a drawing for me ...

Knastzeichnungen – The Exhibition

June 2017 saw the exhibition „Prison Drawings“ in the off-space EIS, ZWOI, DRU consisting of drawings ...

Knastzeichnungen – The Zine

June 2017 saw the exhibition „Prison Drawings“ in the off-space ICE, ZWOI, DRÜ consisting of drawings ...


Kolkata—City of Print is a literary essay by Mara Züst ...


While the publication Kolkata-City of Print …

Loud Waters

Water finds its way, meandering over any obstacle, it serves as a rigid border, leads to resistance against its occupation, becomes a burial ground, but also ...

Memorizer – The Book

A comprehensive catalogue was compiled to complement the „Memorizer – Der Sammler Andreas Züst“ (Memorizer – The Collector Andreas Züst) exhibition at ...

Memorizer – The Exhibition

In 2004, Andreas Züst's collection was put on permanent loan to the Aargauer Kunsthaus. In 2009, ...

Menschen Tiere Abenteuer – The Book

The book „Menschen Tiere Abenteuer“ presents a collection of about 350 photographs taken by Andreas Züst from 1973 to 1983 ...

Menschen Tiere Abenteuer – The Exhibitions

Based on research conducted for the book „Menschen Tiere Abenteuer“, the 79-piece work group, supplemented by paintings and other ...

Météorologies mentales

In the spring of 2012, the Centre culturel suisse in Paris presented an exhibition of artwork from ...


With the support of local artists and institutions in Kolkata (India), Lahore (Pakistan), and Langnau a. A. (Switzerland) ...

Mini-Zine-Library – Publications

Within the Mini-Zine-Library cycles in Switzerland, in addition to countless zines, two ...


During a project week in May 2023 with two classes from the Schule Im Widmer, storytelling through sounds and deliberately chosen visual details (without sounds) was explored. The topics ...

Nachlass Andreas Züst (Estate of Andreas Züst)

When Andreas Züst – a photographer, painter, art collector, social butterfly, publisher, film producer, bibliophile, scientist, and patron of the arts – passed away ...

Nacht – Das Buch (Night – The Book)

Eighty slides from a slide carousel, entitled „Nacht“ (Night) and taken from ...

Press and secondary literature

The following articles and reports were published in conjunction with the projects and initiatives featured on this site:


Publications and texts

A selection of various publications and texts produced through different projects can be found ...


Published by Edition Patrick Frey in the fall of 2020, „Pursuit of Wonders“ brings together various photographs ...


In winter 2012–13 and spring 2013 two slideshows derived from the Andreas Züst Archive were presented at Zurich's Club ...

Technique & Sentiment

In winter 2012–13 and at the invitation of CAN (Centre d’art Neuchâtel), the Andreas Züst Library was displayed as part of the exhibition ...

The New Us: A Mini-Museum-Me series

For the Community Festival "About Us!" various workshops with residents of Albisrieden took place in May and June 2023. During these workshops, stories were collected for ...

Von Andreas bis Züst – Eine Bibliothek auf Wanderschaft (From Andreas To Züst – A Library's Journey)

Anticipating the move of the Bibliothek Andreas Züst, the idea arose to arrange a sort of travelling tour, and for the library to make stops along ...

Would you rather...

In collaboration with Christoph Elias Meier, a reinterpretation of the children's book classic ...

Workshops, lectures, presentations

On a regular basis guided tours, workshops and subject-specific lectures in connection with ...