The aim of the module is to gain insight into the discourse around monuments and to work in this field in a collaboration with L21. L 21 is a series of projects initiated by Kunsthalle Luzern for the 200th anniversary of the Lucerne Lion Monument to conduct research on the world-famous monument that is situated in close proximity to Kunsthalle with interdisciplinary and artistic means. As a final outcome a public exhibition will be produced showing the students' research and work in relation to their respective area of study. Students will acquire basic skills in handling a political/societal topic in relation to their own field of study and get to know the particular research tools needed through interdisciplinary working groups and lecturers practically as well as theoretically. To tackle complex settings like this it's extremely important to broaden our networks of skills through the different professional backgrounds and collaboration over the different disciplines.
The topic of monuments and memorials is extremely connected to the paradigm of sustainability. Monuments are made to last, but do we still know after some time what they stand for? Are their aims and meanings sustainable? If I think of the Lucerne Lion Monument always Rosebud comes to my mind: the start of the movie Citizen Kane where millionaire Charles Foster Kane dies and speaks his final word Rosebud, which develops into a monument. The whole movie deals with this monument. Nobody knows what it means but everybody is looking for it. In Lucerne, a dying lion is carved in stone, loads of people visit the place every day, but hardly anyone knows about its history. The monument is one of Switzerland's most-visited and photographed touristic sites. The allegory of the dying lion is a reminder of the Swiss guardsman killed in the fight of the revolutionaries in the Paris Tuilleries on August 10 1792. How can students from different disciplines deal with this setting today? How can they contribute to a wider discourse on monuments and memorials? All this will be researched by an interdisciplinary process ending up in an exhibition in Lucerne. Key questions are: how can one come closer to such big and loaded topics? What are the political layers behind it – today and in former times and contexts? The module content covers the relationship between humans and humans, humans and history as well as creating interfaces between humans and history in contexts such as sustainability, identity, gender, communication and history. Inputs are coming from the fields of societal, political and touristy backgrounds, but also from the practical fields of art and design. Through talks and discussions, a critical approach to the topic is encouraged and the creative approaches and positions of designers and artists will be discussed and reflected upon. The contextualisation, development, manufacturing and presentation of the works in small teams allows the students to practise their skills and expertise.
Sebastian Utzni (project leader): conceptual artist and co-head of the BA in Art and Education
Ewald Trachsel: sculptor and lecturer in the BA in Art and Education
Members of the L21 research group such as Peter Fischer (curator) and Michael Sutter (head of Kunsthalle Luzern)
International guests: Will be made known in the detailed program.