Kennenlernessen
Maya Bamberger, Ronny Koren

Score
Bereite ein Essen mit einem Freund für jemanden zu, den du gerne besser kennenlernen möchtest. Bitte den Gast eine zusätzliche Person mitzubringen, die er ebenfalls einladen und  besser kennenlernen möchte. Das Zubereiten und Kochen der Mahlzeit wird hoffentlich zu einem gemeinsamen Austausch führen.

Maya Bamberger, Esther Epstein, Killy Koren, Ronny Koren, Olga Stefan
Zurich
28.04.2019

Reach to Eat// Dinner #2
April 28, 2019, Zurich

Maya:
There is something so scary, but at the same time fulfilling in cooking for people.

Olga:
Yes, fulfilling. Bus scary? You think that they might not like it?

Maya:
Yes, I always have it.

Olga:
Really?

Ronny:
Especially for people you never cooked for before.

Maya:
Especially for men.

*laughs*

Olga:
I never thought about it that way…

Killy:
Do you usually make Swiss food?

Esther:
I am more inspired by the stuff I have in the fridge.

Maya:
When there is nothing at home… And I have to be so creative…

Esther:
Thats the best! That’s the most inspiring thing – to do something out of nothing.

Ronny:
And you, grew up where?

Olga:
My first few years were in Romania, and then I moved with my parents to Chicago.

Esther:
But you also wanted to immigrate to Israel?…

Olga:
When we left Romania it was still a communist country so the only way for people to leave was if they were minorities. As Jews we were able to ask for a visa to Israel, and Israel was also purchasing Jews. We were able to live – Israel purchased our tickets, our arrangement and facilitated our ability to leave the country and then it just didn’t work out. We were trying to figure out different route and we were stuck in Switzerland.

Esther:
Did you stay in Zurich? Or at the airport?

Olga:
We had a distant relative who had been a war refugee and after the war he was able to come to Switzerland… When we were in Romania we didn’t have contact with anyone who resides outside of Romania so my mom only knew his name and we managed to see him and he helped us to stay here. But the situation was really difficult because we wouldn’t have been able to go back to Romania for at least ten years if he had applied for a refugee status here, until we would have gotten our passport. Then we decided to seek alternatives and we had some family in Chicago who sponsored us and agreed to support us. Those refugee laws that still function now don’t exist in the states.

Maya:
What is the purpose of this law?

Olga:
If you are a refugee the assumption is that it is dangerous in the country of origin. And if it is dangerous you can’t go there because if anything happens to you the Swiss government has to take some action on your behalf and would rather not implicate themselves.

Killy:
So many obstacles.

Olga:
Now it is even more difficult. I have started volunteering for a refugee organisation and one of their programs is to combine a person from Switzerland regardless of their status, a person who resides here with a refugee, and to facilitate this interaction. Maybe the person who lives here can show the refugee around, integrate them in their family, spend time with them etc. I was combined with a young Somali kid – 18 or 19 years old. Interestingly enough he doesn’t know himself how old he is because the birth certificates are not necessarily handed out. That particular issue was a big problem because the Swiss government has implemented laws now that make it more difficult for an adult, which means 18 years old to have asylum here. If you are deemed to be more than 18 years old your refugee status is questioned automatically. They have started implementing these processes to determine whether or not they are 18 by X-raying their body to see how their bones have developed.

Killy:
It’s a period that will be remembered. It is a change. People are moving from one place to another and it is changing the whole balance. It is like how Europe was created by moving tribes…

Esther:
I think it is a constant, slow move. Yesterday I just saw a TV show about how the population from Africa moved to the middle east and from the middle east to Europe.

Olga:
There are waves… We are judging this process in a very short window of history. The 1848 revolution in Europe established the nation states that we currently know. Only in those years we have started talking about the concept of refugees – it is a construct this of the modern period. Once you define a certain category of people… People migrated all the time, but we have never categorised them and counted them because it wasn’t something that was conceptualised as outside of the norm.

Olga:
I am doing a tour of the various spaces of memory of the general strike in 1918 through the eyes of three socialist Jewish women who created the revolution. The three Rosas:

Killi:
Oh… Rosa Luxemburg…

Olga:
Rosa Grimm and Rosa Bloch-Bollag

Killy:
Nachon (True in Hebrew)

Olga: Nachon.

Esther:
So they were working here around Zurich.

Olga:
Yes.

Killy:
OMG the Jewish women.

Esther:
In Zurich there were a lot of interesting Jewish women.

Olga:
They rock! They made everything… I would like to do a doctorate addressing the topic: ‘Why is it that Jewish women were the most progressive women in the European history?’

Esther:
I was asking it myself too because I am doing this ‘Message Salon’ which is the Salon I always wanted to do, and from the beginning I said it is a tribute to Jewish women salon.

(Maya:
Tonight, this is a swish women salon.

Killy:
This is what the two of you do my dear.

Ronny: Yes.

Killy:
It is a very gentle touch.)

Esther:
I was asking myself why I was doing it. I felt connected to this position of a woman with a Jewish background creating this kind of places to come together and I was thinking what is it to me. I was looking for an explanation. I felt like it is something about not feeling really at home because I don’t belong somewhere totally, but to create your own kind of tribe around you. To have a family you created.

Ronny:
Can we quote you?

Maya Bamberger, Itay Blaish, David Carnal, Ronny Koren, Domenico Roberti
Zurich
02.04.2019

Reach to Eat// Dinner #1

Maya:
We have a set of questions that are made to make people fall in love.
Ronny:
Maybe we just pick up few questions from that questionnaire?
Itay:
If you find someone attractive you do not necessarily…

David:
But now I have a question to all for of you; what made you come to Switzerland in the first place?

Itay:
For me it was a project that brought me here, it was clear to me I need to leave Tel Aviv and my future is not going to be there.

David
But Tel Aviv is a fun city!

Itay:
It is but you work your ass off and get pay very little.

David:
But why Zurich?

Itay:
Because of the summer here.

David:
Maya, so you’ve missed the summer here. I ate tomatoes from our balcony. Chill on the balcony until the sun set at 9.30 pm.

Itay:
Or swim in the Limmat with a floating bag.

Ronny:
It’s an amazing place.

Itay:
Agree, in Israel we say that the Swiss landscape is like a chocolate wrap.

Domenico:
So how do you call this salad?

Ronny:
In the salad we have spinach, almonds, dates and pita bread, and lemon zest.

Itay:
Is the recipe from Ottolenghi?

Maya:
Yes, but it could have been better if I had Sumack..

Domenico:
But usually, his recipes have A LOT of ingredients.Long list of ingredients, most of them just spices.

Ronny:
Would you like some water?

Itay:
yes please.

Maya:
the kitchen is a mess!

(George: no worries!)

Maya:
It’s my fault!

Domenico:
It’s very flavourful, Maya.

Maya:
It’s not only me, we did everything together.

Ronny:
I was the sous chef.

Maya:
No, that’s not true, we did everything together.

Ronny:
Yes but it’s mainly your recipes.

Maya:
Which I didn’t invent.

Ronny:
Ok guys I need you to raise your glasses and cheer, and I will take a photo from above.

David:
But you need to cheer as well.

Ronny:
you will cheer for me.

Ronny:
-click-click-click-

Domenico:
Looks like one of these shootings for resorts.

Itay:
Shutter Stock!

Ronny:
Getty Images

Itay:
Google query “four people cheering with wine”

Maya:
I think we need an image on Instagram tomorrow

Ronny:
Yes we should

Itay:
Instagram? Why?

Maya:
Because life is on Instagram

David:
I feel like Instagram is just the next Facebook, it will not be relevant in 5 years anymore

Maya:
We need to be there. If you do something in art or design, it’s very relevant.

Domenico:
But it’s gaining so much traction. I read this article saying that there are collectors that buy art just from Instagram. When they buy, the can pay 30-40 millions, just from liking a picture

Itay:
My master thesis project is exactly this. It’s a bit problematic to speak about it here because it’s a group of curators. I am also a curator, but of a different kind. I think that curation in galleries is obsolete. It’s old. There are so many new forms that has to be investigated. The way we consume art through internet changed so much, but people still see the galleries as the place for art, but I think nope, sorry. People become artists through Instagram, even if no art collector define them as artists, they do define themselves this way, there are actually forms that are being ignored by the art world because they are happening online.

David:
Is Banksy an artist?

Domenico:
Depends who you ask.

Maya:
Common, he is effecting the discourse, of course he is an artist.

Itay:
but that’s the problem, it is art, but in an article I read about Banksy he said: Banksy is a great artist but a graphic design exercise. You just get a small arty orgasm.

Domenico:
I agree with you, that’s exactly the conversation about high art and low art. A lot of curators in the past century have been trying so hard to knock it down that whatever forms of creativity is a type of art, but it’s the matter of context that actually decides the class of where it belongs to. We can argue that Banksy is probably not an artist that speaks to us, because we have to admit the higher you grow in the education of visual arts, the more refine and snobbish you become about what you like and what you don’t.

Itay:
I don’t think it’s low art compared to High art. It’s art, but I don’t find it interesting. I just think that if the message of his work comes so fast, and leaves so fast, it’s just not important.

Domenico:
it’s the same level of the New Yorkers sketches. I think he is very much like that.

Ronny:
But who to decide what’s are and what’s not in the artwrold? In many ways, institutions. And more specifically, the ones who set the tone of arts value are the auction houses.

Domenico:
There’s a distinction between academic and market and they just don’t always go together.

Itay:
My theory says that the discourse is owned by the art scene of galleries, curators and collectors. But suddenly you have more and more at that is available online,. In places outside of the white cube, in parties for instance. Things that didn’t happen before. I still think that the art talk is reserves to galleries, but from where I come from it’s only these alternative forms, underground. Off spaces.

Ronny:
Have you found some of these in Zurich?

Itay:
No. And the reason is because they have too much money. But you see it in Krakow, Berlin, Tel Aviv. The scene is booming.

Maya:
But it’s a different type of art.

Itay:
No, that’s exactly the mistake, that’s what curators say. And this is the problem.

Maya:
But it is!

Itay:
No, it’s not. Because it presented in a messy way, it is something different, I agree, something that could be challenged and you’re right. But the art itself, the processes art of art. But if you could think about the quality as a curator, you could have a proper exhibition. But it’s easy to dismiss it by saying: oh this space is not a gallery.

Maya:
It’s not what I think. When I consume it through the music, hipster, cool scene, I don’t feel I belong to this world.

Ronny:
I agree with you, Itay. I bought at least three pieces at LaCulture in Tel Aviv over the years. And I do think that when you nail it down you can find really good works there. It’s a market, and definitely different than the white cube.

Itay:
That’s exactly what I would like to do, to bridge it out. I feel the the visual communicator is a missing link in art shows. The curator usually is too disconnected and there should be middle men to communicate it to the world.

Maya: I actually think that graphic designers are usually looking at me like I have no idea what I’m doing.

Itay:
But I’m talking about something different, as a designer working on an art show, the designer works together with the curator. They are interested In mutual success. I’m just saying that as a designer, I can have an impact on an art show.

Ronny:
The crowd however is so different. We are talking about much cheaper works being sold in a market place; nothing like a gallery.

Itay:
That’s exactly the idea. Re-inventing the scene.What I’m suggesting to artists – how about creating works that are bought for much less, so you could have a younger crowd? I noticed its working very well.

Domenico:
The biggest things about art, is what you just said, that galleries of course sell a status and symbol, a commodity. The difference between an Artwork and a Lamborghini is that a Lamborghini never actually states any social project. Lots of artworks speak about something completely different like immigration, the artwork sometimes claims to be something completely different than what it actually is.

Maya:
Then why can’t it be both?

Domenico:
It is both, in the same time

Maya:
And when you are a super rich person but you have this migrant painting in your living room, isn’t it hypocrisy?

Domenico:
It makes the rich person feel better, as if she engages with the conversation about migration but you’re not doing anything about it. It’s like hosting a charity event.

Maya:
I think what motivated me, is the fact that artists need the money. Also gallerists.

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Einverständniserklärung
Mit dem Hochladen und Absenden des Formulars erkläre ich mich damit einverstanden, dass die von mir hochgeladenen Materialien (Fotos und Texte) unter Nennung meines Namens veröffentlicht und verwendet werden dürfen: 1. auf dieser Website, 2. auf der Webseite oncurating.org und 3. in Ausstellungen und Workshops im Zusammenhang des Projekts Small Projects for Coming Communities. Die Fotos und Texte werden zu diesem Zweck gespeichert. Ich bin mir darüber im Klaren, dass Fotos und Texte im Internet offen sind und von beliebigen Personen abgerufen und weiterverwendet werden können.

Ich erkläre hiermit, dass ich die/der Eigentümer*in/Urheber*in des hochgeladenen Materials bin. Ich versichere, dass mit der Veröffentlichung des Fotos und des Textes meine eigenen Persönlichkeitsrechte nicht verletzt werden. Ich bestätige, dass mit der Verwendung des Fotos und Texte keine Rechte Dritter, insbesondere Urheberrechte und das Recht am eigenen Bild, verletzt werden.

Diese Einverständniserklärung ist freiwillig und kann gegenüber dem Verein jederzeit mit Wirkung für die Zukunft widerrufen werden. Sind die Aufnahmen im Internet verfügbar, erfolgt die Entfernung, soweit dies dem Verein möglich ist. Ich habe die Hinweise gemäß Art. 13 DSGVO gelesen und verstanden.