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Artists named to represent Switzerland in Venice

Self-portrait (1973) by Urs Lüthi (picture: French national library)

Three artists have been chosen to represent Switzerland at this year's Venice Biennale, one of the biggest contemporary art events on the European calendar.

The Federal Culture Office says Urs Lüthi will exhibit an overview of his works in the Swiss pavilion, while installations by Nobert Möslang and Andy Guhl can be seen in a baroque church next to the Grand Canal.

All three artists are prominent on the Swiss contemporary art scene, although Lucerne-born Lüthi spends much of his time lecturing at the arts academy of Kessel University in Germany. He is a painter specialising in graphic art.

Möslang and Guhl are two 49-year-olds from St Gallen who have worked together since 1972. They create installations combining sound, images, objects and space whose avant-garde qualities promise to provide an interesting contrast in styles in their baroque setting in Venice.

The director of the Biennale, which starts June 10 and runs for five months, is a Swiss freelance curator, Harald Szeeman. He says the event is not just an art exhibition but also an interacting "stage of mankind" involving aspects of such other sections of the arts as cinema, music, theatre and dance.

"The 'Stage of Mankind' is not merely a theme," he explained, "but an affirmation of responsibility for history, the events of our age and the deeper humanity we all aspire to."

by Richard Dawson


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