Nic Hess


zwischen Bahnhof Stettbach und Sagenbachtobel
8051 Zürich
  • © Pierluigi Macor / Stadt Zürich KiöR («Neuer Norden Zürich»)

  • © Pierluigi Macor / Stadt Zürich KiöR («Neuer Norden Zürich»)

Used window shutters approx. 1000 × 1000 × 400 cm

Artist Nic Hess (b. 1968 in Switzerland) grew up in Schwamendingen, Zurich. After leading a nomadic existence for many years, stopping off in Holland, the USA, Latin America and Asia, he now lives in his parents’ house again, with his family. His work, which he has spent the last 30 years developing and exhibiting worldwide, is situated precisely at the interface between artistic and commercial communication.

This approach, the deconstruction of visual everyday symbols, has been developed further by Nic Hess specifically for Schwamendingen, in response to being invited to the exhibition New North Zurich. Over a period of several years, the artist has collected materials that have accumulated as construction-site waste during this neighbourhood’s transformation process. Nic Hess has found discarded awnings and window shutters particularly appealing. From hundreds of these window shutters the artist has developed a walk-through sculpture of remembrance – a synthesis of architecture, artwork and plaza design. Each window shutter carries traces of history, yet becomes part of a new overall artistic configuration. Thus, manifold stories and perspectives develop in the observer’s mind, encountering the supposed levelling-out of our living environment with a playful and simultaneously cryptic artistic stance. This sculpture is a collective artwork that consolidates the neighbourhood’s stories, but also commences a completely new chapter.

Ladenschluss is starting point for a literature project: More than 100 young persons from Sekundarschule Stettbach have – in collaboration with JULL (Junges Literaturlabor) – written stories, one for each shutter.  Coaching by writers Renata Burckhardt, Gion Mathias Cavelty, Maja Peter, and Eva Rottmann.

Courtesy of the artist and Grieder Contemporary, Küsnacht/Zürich
Supported by IG Pro Zürich 12