New North Zurich ends on a positive note

The NEW NORTH ZURICH project, which attracted tens of thousands of art enthusiasts from both inside and outside Switzerland, has now come to an end. Fully-booked guided tours, a successful accompanying program, immense media coverage and three donations sum up the positive outcome of the Zurich festival for art in public places.

In the wake of ART AND THE CITY in Zurich-West (2012) and ART ALTSTETTEN ALBISRIEDEN (2015) in summer 2018 the geographical focus of the Zurich art festival was on Schwamendingen, Oerlikon and Seebach. NEW NORTH ZURICH focused on the urban changes in those quarters affected by the incorporation of Schwamendingen. Renowned artists created specific art projects intended to comment and reflect on the transformation of the urban lifeworld. As in some cases the art works were installed in unusual places the exhibition also encouraged a new perception of the quarters on the city limits.

The exhibition was viewed by an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 visitors – many of them from Zurich – and was accompanied by an extensive education and fringe program featuring over 100 different events. In addition, schools in the areas involved collaborated with the Junger Literaturlabor (Young Literature Laboratory, JULL) to develop a special education program for young people. And thanks to private sponsors two artworks will get to stay in Zürich’s Nord district somewhat longer: “Die Glocke” (The Bell) (Baltensperger+Siepert) and the “Loop” (Veronika Spierenburg).

A total budget of 900,000 Swiss francs was made available for NEW NORTH ZURICH. The City of Zurich contributed 500,000 francs; 400,000 francs came from private foundations, sponsors and galleries. The project was initiated by the City of Zurich’s Working Party on Art in the Public Space (AG KiöR). Its president Christoph Doswald acted as the artistic director; the organizational work was handled by the Municipal Desk for Art in the Public Space, which is attached to the Dept. of Civil Engineering and Waste Disposal.