Swiss Line Festival


18.03 - 22.03.2014

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A line is a basic element in the art and natural sciences. From strictly academic point of view one cannot see or touch a line, nevertheless, it is a product of human thought and it represents the concept of the visible world. New worlds appear from a modest line. Line separates “the inside” and “the outside” and joins them at the same time; it is an outline which directs movement and sets development vector.

The Swiss Line festival is dedicated to the bicentennial of establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Switzerland. Exhibition of archive documents related to history of diplomatic relations dots lines of movement of the two countries towards each other. Such lines are numerous. It is this thought which underlies the festival’s concept which represents different aspects of development of art, literature, cinematograph, architecture, and design of Switzerland perceived through the lens of Russian experience.

The “Swiss line” metaphor appeared during translation of art history articles from catalogue of exhibition of the Zug Art Museum dedicated to history of development of a line from antiquity to the present. A line unites the past and the present, tradition and opportunities for something new. The festival is aimed to give impulse to continuation of the dialogue between our countries which covers different spheres of art, education, economics and social life.

Program of the festival:

18 March (Tuesday)

13.30 LUNN (auditorium 1415). Lecture of the head of the Public Diplomacy Department of the Embassy of Switzerland in Moscow and coordinator of events dedicated to the bicentennial of establishment of diplomatic relations, Yury Maile, “History of diplomatic relations between Russia and Switzerland”. Awarding of the winners of the contest for best translation of texts by contemporary Swiss specialists in arts history and cultural studies. Presentation of the Swiss Notes installment.

18.30 Arsenal. Ceremony of opening of the Swiss Line festival and exhibition “Switzerland and Russia: 200 years of diplomatic relations”.
History of Russian-Swiss diplomatic relations began in the 19th century when Minister for External Affairs of Russia Ioannis Kapodistrias was appointed a representative of Russia in Switzerland by the emperor Alexander I, and Switzerland opened the Consulate in Saint-Petersburg. Soon afterwards the Russian Empire became a guarantor of Swiss unity and neutrality after signing documents of the Congress of Vienna. That period was marked by close communication and collaboration of scientists and cultural figures which continues at present. The exhibitions will present documents reflecting milestones of collaboration of the two countries.

19.00 “Five Songs for 20 Francs” concert.
View on Swiss music culture presented by NoName-ensemble with verbal support of musicologist Ksenia Anufrieva. Classic of the 20th century Arthur Honegger whose portrait is placed on 20 Swiss francs note invites for a ride on his music train towards contemporaneity - where romance of the 20th century meets a song of the 21st century, and spiritual values become material. The concert’s program includes pieces by Swiss and Russian composers Arthur Nonegger, Beat Furrer, Roland Mozer and Elmir Nizamov.


19 March (Wednesday)

19.00 Arsenal. Swiss documentary.
Switzerland is a country of contrasts and traditions, advanced technologies in science and innovations in art, cultural pluralism and world diplomacy. All these features are reflected in the national cinematograph.
Born behind Rocks / Nés derrière les pierres
Documentary, Carina Freire, Switzerland, April 2012
Carina Freire: “Photos of my relatives and relatives of my boyfriend were a starting point for this film which presents a portrait of two families; at first glance these families have nothing in common: my parents are Portuguese ex-farmers who moved to Switzerland in the 80s. His parents are Swiss academicians. And I am in the middle”.
The Queen’s Baths / Aux bains de la reine
Documentary, Maya Kosa and Sergio Da Costa, Switzerland, April 2012.
Elsa returns to her homeland, Caldas Da Rainha in Portugal, where the world’s first spa resort was built. She would like to visit her mother there. With this minimal plot as a point of departure, viewers discover the city, its inhabitants and their mysterious activities, as well as fragments of Elsa’s family history. An impressionistic image emerges, times collide, dream and reality are intertwined.
Film won the award of the International Short Film Festival in Belo Horizonte for the best short film of the the international competition 2012.


20 March (Thursday)

13.30 LUNN (auditorium 3217). Master class of translator Anatoly Egorshev “Difficulties of translation of contemporary Swiss dramaturgy”.
Meetings for students and teachers with outstanding contemporary translators have become the LUNN tradition. This time the university welcomes Anatoly Egorshev – famous journalist and specialist in German studies, translator from German. Contributor of the Foreign Literature magazine which published his translations of essay by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, correspondence of Günter Grass and Kenzaburo Oe, character sketch of Lev Kopelev by Marion Dönhoff, fragments from the book by Wilhelm von Sternburg about life and work of Erich Maria Remarque, essay by Birgit Lahann about life and philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.
Anatoly Egorshev also studies literature and culture of Switzerland. Well-known are his translations of Jürg Amann “In Searches of the Prodigal Son” dedicated to Robert Walser, and several miniatures of the Swiss classic, essay by Peter Bichsel “Switzerland through the eyes of a Swiss” and translations of works of Lukas Bärfuss which will become a subject of discussions.

19.00 Arsenal. “Drama_Talk: between text and theatre.” Read-through of the Oil play by Lukas Bärfuss. Performed by actor Lev Kharlamov (Nizhny Novgorod). Preamble, context by literary critic Svetlana Averkina and translator of the plan Anatoly Sergeevich Egorshev.

“ Drama_Talk: between text and theatre” project is aimed to present contemporary dramaturgy to the audience on example of the Oil play by Lukas Bärfuss, one of the most popular and interesting dramaturges writing in German. It is a classic story of “gold diggers” looking for oilfields in a fictitious country of the third world, they dream of getting rich, and in the process they lose what is the most valuable – confidence, self-respect and friends. Mystic anti-utopia with only four characters raises questions answers to which are not that easy to find.

21 March (Friday)

13.30 LUNN (auditorium 3209). Screening of the film Mani Matter – why are you so sad? /Mani Matter – warum syt die so truurig?

Documentary, Friedrich Kappeler, Switzerland, October 2002.
The film offers fascinating insight into complex personality of a great Swiss bard Mani Matter (1936-1972). Songs of Matter written in Swiss dialect of German language are still very popular. The film depicts life of the singer who sometimes had a hard time combining his job of a legal adviser with creative work. Conversations with family and friends of the artist are enhanced with numerous original recordings by Mani Matter, as well as interpretations by contemporary musicians such as Stephan Eicher, Kuno Lauener and Polo Hofer - each of whom has taken a completely different approach to Matter's songs.

19.00 Arsenal. Presentation of Siedlungen/Poselki - a mobile exhibition project about social architecture of Switzerland. (Curator – E.Kosovskikh, photography Y.Palmin, architecture/design E. Ass, N.Korbut, video ETZ, Zurich).
Social changes in the Swiss society in the beginning of the 20th century lead to radical changes in typology of housing. Housing cooperatives («Wohnbaugesellschaften») which appeared in the 20s were aimed to solve the issue of mass housing; they are still popular in Switzerland. Principle of collectivity on one hand, and continuity of so-called moderate modernism on the other, are typical for Swiss architecture.
Presentation will include two lectures. The project’s curator Elena Kosovskikh will read a lecture “A city-garden will be here”, in which she will tell about evolution of concepts of social housing in Switzerland, and review of settlements, from the Freidorf settlement of Hannes Meyer (1921) to experimental housing block More than Housing which is being planned in Zurich. Lecture of photographer Yury Palmin will be dedicated to photography of modernism period as a means of propaganda of new ideas, and role of architectural photography today.
Presentation will also include discussion: social changes – housing changes in Switzerland and Russia, actual typologies of housing today and continuation of historical tradition.

22 March (Saturday)

18.00 Arsenal. Screening of Swizz documentaries.
Mrs. Loosli / Frau Loosli
Documentary, Nicole Vögele, Germany, April 2013.
Mrs. Loosli is old. She lives at her farm alone. Being alone is her ultimate life task. A young film crew watches an old lady’s everyday life and documents how each morning she braces herself against her life’s loneliness and the absurdity of life. The result is an essay in film about the power of rituals; a film that widens the horizon and captures the beautiful in the ordinary.
The film won C-Side Productions post-production award of the Visions du Réel cinema festival in Nyon for the best Swiss film of all categories in 2013.

Black Butterflies / Les papillons noirs
Documentary, Louise Carrin, Switzerland, April 2013.
Michou is a bachelor used to relationships without obligations. Her works as a taxi driver at nights: he drive three regular customers – rather lively women, with whom he becomes rather close. This leads to strange relations where mutual dependence and power, love and cruelty.


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