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Alternative Zurich

The Fraumünster Church is an icon of the city which dominates the skyline and features stained-glass windows designed by Marc Chagall.  The presentation is gorgeous and similar to the Chagall windows at the Art Institute of Chicago, but at the church there is absolutely no photography allowed.  We payed a quick visit here during our stay in Zurich and left after wandering around the dark and somber church for a few minutes.  We had no idea that we would be returning the following evening when the space would be transformed into a shining performance space by art collective Baushtellë and be confronted by a program of thought-provoking contemporary work.

Alternative Zurich | The Alternative Atlas

Members of Baushtellë from Prishtinë, Beograd and Zürich participated in the complete transformation of the Fraumünster Church.  I love what they did with the space… coincidentally it was my first time seeing an artist perform semi-nude inside a church.  And this time, photography was encouraged!

Alternative Zurich | The Alternative Atlas

Alternative Zurich | The Alternative Atlas

At the heart of this collective is an exploration of a system of beliefs, so I found it very appropriate that the exhibition was held inside a sacred space.

Alternative Zurich | The Alternative Atlas

Alternative Zurich | The Alternative Atlas

Alternative Zurich | The Alternative Atlas

Alternative Zurich | The Alternative Atlas

One of my favorite pieces was the rigorous and extended ringing of all of the church bells in the Zurich old town… simultaneously.  The entire city was flooded with the atonal and off-time clamber of the bells for several minutes.  The booming reverberated endlessly through all the old streets and I couldn’t help but think “wow this is so awesome… how did they get away with this?”  You can read more about Baushtellë on their website here.

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