How should a programme that is both personal and at the same time representative of Swiss art in the field of video be approached? How should the selection be organised given the particular context in which it will be presented, i.e., in the city of Madrid for a series of Swiss art events presented alongside ARCO 2003 and at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía?
Switzerland is a small country where, like most countries with a healthy contemporary art scene, video is becoming more and more important. The presentation and reception of this type of work is accompanied by a series of problems, such as noise pollution between the rooms, the need for dark rooms, the use of costly material, the possibility of sitting down or simply the length of the films. The solution for these problems can be found, appropriately, in the approaches used in different Swiss contemporary art exhibitions held over the last few years. Using the findings made in centres like the Kunsthaus Zürich, the Centre culturel suisse Paris and the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain. Mamco in Geneva, The Swiss Screen presents a group of six video and film programmes put together with the context of Spain and Madrid in mind. It includes numerous artists whose work is being screened on the outside façade of the museum and in the Reina Sofia auditorium.
Bearing in mind the context of an outdoor public space, short pieces by eleven artists are being shown (Swiss Mix 1) along with a montage of fragments from more than twenty videos by the artist Eric Hattan (Wettingen, 1955). The screenings in the auditorium correspond to more narrative works or pieces that require more concentration. Swiss Mix 2 features the work of ten different Swiss artists. Emmanuelle Antille (Lausanne, 1972), a young artist who works with video installations, films and photographs is the subject of another programme, while the third programme presents the work of Peter Fischli (Zurich, 1952) and David Weiss (Zurich, 1946), members of the group of Swiss artists who have received the greatest international recognition.
Finally, War Photographer (2001), by filmmaker Christian Frei (Schönenwerd, 1959), is also being shown. This artist followed and filmed American photographer James Nachtwey around the dangerous places where he works, into the heart of the conflicts which, unfortunately, constitute such an important part of today’s world.