Ausbruch & Rausch. Frauen Kunst Punk 1975–1980
During the tumultuous mid-1970s in Zurich, two highly provocative exhibitions at the Städtische Galerie zum Strauhof served as groundbreaking cultural experiments. In 1975, declared International Women’s Year by the UN, professional and amateur women artists expressed themselves in a 35-member “creative-feminist” collective. The show Frauen sehen Frauen (“Women See Women”) was anarchic and rebellious in form, a motley mix of theatrical installation, “cabinet of intimacy” and educational circuit. The object was to provoke a critical examination of the everyday lives of women and prevailing gender roles. One special attraction was Panzerknackerballet (“Tank-Buster Ballet”), a feminist choreography by Katharina Steffen, performances of which continued into the following year. In the spring of 1980, the young art and punk music scene presented the fruits of a brand new self-conception to an astonished cultural establishment. Fueled by the experiences of new urban pop culture, the show Saus & Braus, Stadtkunst (“Living It Up, Urban Art”) sought to confront staid Swiss society with modern conceptions of culture. Both shows drew huge crowds and sparked widespread controversy in the press—and they launched the career of curator Bice Curiger. Ausbruch & Rausch is an extended retrospective of those two iconic shows, including copious photographic and printed documentation, interview transcripts and essays, published in connection with the Strauhof’s exhibition Un po’ artista un po’ no.