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The Power of Mushrooms: Berta Rahm’s Pavilion for the Saffa 58

Until Fri, 10/12/2021
gta Ausstellungen ETH Zürich

Opening talk on March 8th, 5pm with an introduction by Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen, a welcome by Amy Perkins (Parity Group) and Nina Hüppi (Verein ProSaffa1958-Pavillon) and a panel with Barbara Buser (Baubüro in situ) and the exhibition team Milena Buchwalder, Sonja Flury, Dorothee Hahn, Larissa Müllner live on:

8 March – 10 December 2021
gta exhibitions, ETH Zurich, Hönggerberg
Currently it's semester break and the exhibition is open by appointment only.

Throughout the year we will investigate the recently rescued pavilion by Berta Rahm, originally built for the Schweizerische Ausstellung für Frauenarbeit in 1958, short Saffa 58. Departing from its built presence, the exhibition will revolve around the role of collaboration and collective effort in the repositioning of female architects in our histories and futures. An active programme in monthly stages, progressing both online and on-site, will make the exhibition grow.

Berta Rahm was one of the first Swiss women architects to study at ETH Zurich. In her professional capacity she designed and built single-family holiday homes and carried out numerous conversions, as well as realising the aluminium-clad pavilion for the Saffa 58. As a committed feminist she represented Switzerland at the founding of the Union Internationale des Femmes Architectes in Paris in 1963. Although she participated in many competitions and won awards, she never received a public commission. Throughout her life she struggled, as a single woman, to find a voice in the architectural field and ultimately gave up her profession to found the publishing house Ala in Zurich, specialising in feminist authors and themes.

Without the committed research and activism by female architects and art historians of the SNSF research project on the Saffa 58 and the efforts of the ProSaffa1958-Pavillon Association, the silvery pavilion would no longer exist. It is therefore the bearer of collective endeavours and hopes for the future – a future in which women architects are an integral and inherent part of the stories that are told and re-told.

The initial exhibition stage, Material Evidence, introduces the pavilion in a state of transition between storage and its potential to be rebuilt, whereby the inserted fragments of the pavilion will create new spaces in the exhibition areas for education, discourse and restoration, in turn allowing for a collective activism to grow into and beyond the institution like a mycelium of fungi.

This project is realised by the exhibition team Milena Buchwalder, Sonja Flury, Dorothee Hahn and Larissa Müllner on behalf of the ProSaffa1958-Pavillon Association, together with the directors of gta exhibitions Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen.

Chapter 1: Material Evidence (8 March – 10 December 2021)

Chapter 2: Online Talk: Entangled Histories (13 April 2021, 18 Uhr)

Chapter 3: Online Talk: Images of Berta (11 May 2021, 18 Uhr)

Chapter 4: Close Encounters feat. HOTMAILHOTNAIL (28 September – 7 October 2021)

Chapter 5: The Feast (30 November - 10 December 2021)

gta Ausstellungen ETH Zürich

ETH Zürich, gta Ausstellungen, HIL C 75, Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5
8093 Zürich

+41 (0) 44 633 29 18

Bus 69 und 80 bis «ETH Hönggerberg»

Opening Times

Monday: 10–18
Tuesday: 10–18
Wednesday: 10–18
Thursday: 10–18
Friday: 10–18

Until Fri, 10/12/2021


Free admission

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