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Benjamin Egger is an artist and artistic researcher based in Switzerland with a focus on the animal and amateurism.

Night vision shot of a stray puppy, Zemo Nikozi, Giorgia, 2017.

dogs

DOGS is a research project started in 2017. It examines different approaches to the co-existence with dogs. Looking at various ways of living together with dogs in diverse geographical contexts the project furthermore looks at the personal transformation of Farok – a Belgian shepherd, who was never socialised with other dogs – and Benjamin Egger. It documents the development of their relationship and the varied approaches of the consulted experts during the process of socialization.

Stray dog, Zemo Nikozi, Giorgia, 2017.

 

Farok (Benjamin Egger’s companion-dog since April 2017), Zürich, 2017

 

Tracking data, Left: Farok at 20 March 2018, Zurich, Right: Black and white female, Kitchen group at 4 October 2017, Zemo Nikozi, Giorgia,

 

First encounter of Farok with the dogs of Urs Baschung, Welschenrohr, 2017

An der Grenze zur Andersartigkeit

The essay «AN DER GRENZE ZUR ANDERSARTIGKEIT – MÖGLICHKEITEN EINER SPEZIESÜBERGREIFENDEN KOMMUNIKATION» [At the Border to Otherness – The Potential of Cross-Species Communication] is published in the book ent/grenzen – Künstlerische und kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf Grenzräume, Migration und Ungleichheit [un/bordered – artistic perspectives on border areas, migration and inequality] and elaborates on the potential of a cross-species communication on the base of practical experiences with animals.

Benjamin Egger on a pony, 1989

Inherent Crossing

INHERENT CROSSING is a research project that started in 2012 and was published online: inherent-crossing.net in 2017. It investigates the self-motivated handling of painting implements among the sixteen chimpanzees of the Walter Zoo Gossau.

Mojo, Gossau, Switzerland, 2015

 

Installation view, Museum of Anthropology, Zurich, April 2016 until April 2017

 

Symposium, Art an Evolutionary Approach, University of Zurich, 2016

 

Installation view, Day of Research, Zurich University of the Arts, 2015

 

Manifestation by Blacky, Gossau, Switzerland, 2014

CARELESS DEVOTION

CARELESS DEVOTION is a workshop format that explores the qualities as well as the subversive and political potential of amateurism. On the base of practical experiences the participants reflect on qualities such as devotion, embarrassment or vulnerability and discuss the potential of amateurism as an aesthetic approach. The workshops are held at the Zurich University of the Arts and are conceived by Marcel Bleuler and Benjamin Egger.

Karaoke session, Zurich, 2017.

WOFF

WOFF is a party-series that considers party as a collective space of playful disorientation. Invented by Benjamin Egger for the non-profit artspaces of Zurich and, since the third edition, organized in collaboration with Gregory Hari, the parties take place in a playfully decorated environment and each time focus on a particular theme.

Benjamin Egger, Esther Kempf and Gregory Hari at WOFFWOFFWOFFWOFFWOFFWOFF – The Crucifiction, blossom, Zurich, Good Friday, 30 March 2018

 

WOFF, Performance by Thomas Egger, Provitreff, Zurich, 28 February 2015

 

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#6 #5 #4 #3 by Marlon Ilg
 
#1 #2 by Völlm+Walthert

 

Holy Shit

The essay «DER STEIN FÄLLT NICHT WEIT VOM STAMM» [The Stone Does Not Fall From The Tree], published in the book HOLY SHIT, reflects on the spirituality of animals. Considering evidence of stone-throwing chimpanzees, it contemplates the field of ritualized actions and their manifestations in the world of nonhuman animals.

Illustration by Selina Bächli, 2016

INTERVENING ZEMO NIKOZI

INTERVENING ZEMO NIKOZI is an installation in the public space of the Georgian village of Zemo Nikozi. During the period of political elections, posters are attached on the fences of the properties. On the posters there are pictures of different domesticated animals of Zemo Nikozi as if they are watching the passers-by.

Installation view, Zemo Nikozi, Giorgia, 2016

 

Installation view, Zemo Nikozi, Giorgia, 2016

Jenseits der Differenz

«JENSEITS DER DIFFERENZ» [Beyond Difference] is published on the website P-ART-ICIPATE.NET and is a written conversation between Marcel Bleuler and Benjamin Egger about collaborations with amateurs and nonhuman animals.

STOKES, theatrical performance with amateurs, Theatre of the Arts, Zurich, 2013

DISPLAYING HUMANS

DISPLAYING HUMANS is a curatorial project realized at CORNER COLLEGE in Zurich. The exhibition emerges from questions about the concept of the human body in relation to the cultural construction of the nonhuman animal and its body. The exhibition shows artistic works as well as found-footage material of amateurs. The audience could also take part in the workshop «How to Act Like an Animal» by Rachel Mayeri, a cricket-concert through structure-borne sound waves by Séverine Urwyler and a lecture about the collaboration with plants by Trevor Yeung.

Workshop, How to Act Like an Animal, Rachel Mayeri, Zürich, 2015

 

Exhibition view, LadyLila12, Wie tanzt man richtig in der Disco?, Corner College, Zurich, 2015

 

Exhibition view, Corner College, Zurich, 2015

 

Exhibition view, Mike The Intern, What my dog does when I leave., Corner College, Zurich, 2015

 

Performance INTOPIA, Séverine Urwyler, Corner College, Zurich, 2015