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Susann Wintsch’s research trip on ‘The Other Kabul’

Researching in Tehran, traffic jam (c) Susann Wintsch

Curator and art critic Susann Wintsch will be on a research trip focusing on refreshing knowledge about artists living and working in Afghanistan. The exhibition “The Other Kabul” (working title) will present artists who live both in Afghanistan and abroad. Artists with a different background will also be invited. It is important for the project to reflect on another Kabul from an international perspective. In some cases, the artistic response will be based on local experience, memories and research, while for other artists it may depend entirely on imagination and intuition. However, all artists share certain characteristics: none of their processes present 1:1 facts; the artists do not explain, do not offer answers or solutions; and even if poetry is at the forefront of their work, they do not sweep loss, crisis and threat under the rug. In this way, the exhibition can trigger emotions, memories, and thoughts in the audience, allowing them to orient themselves in distant Kabul.

Based in Zurich, Susann Wintsch is a curator and art critic. Over fifteen years ago, she founded Treibsand projects to present works by artists from West Asia. The first projects, which featured artists from the former Yugoslavia, Iran, and Turkey, were presented on DVD. Each volume in the series examined a major art scene and sought to understand its artistic practice as part of its inventive potential: “What is Art, Marinela Kozelj,” 2003, in collaboration with artist Milica Tomić (Serbia/Vienna); “Analyzing While Waiting – For Time to Pass: Contemporary Art in Tehran,” 2007, in collaboration with artist Parastou Forouhar (Tehran/Frankfurt a. M.), which was followed up by comprehensive exhibitions on contemporary positions in Iranian art presented in collaboration with the Museum Rietberg in Zurich and at the Forum Schlossplatz in Aarau. In 2012, the third DVD was curated together with Necla Rüzgar (Istanbul/Ankara) and released under the title “Keep on Keeping on / Devam Etmeye Devam: Contemporary Art in Istanbul”. In 2016, Susann presented a show with artists from Palestine at Forum Schlossplatz, Aarau. Since the same year, TREIBSAND also publishes online. As of 2019, TREIBSAND is an association and an NGO and was thus placed on broader footing. Currently, TREIBSAND is focusing on planning an exhibition entitled “The Other Kabul”. The exhibition’s concept was developed in close collaboration with the artist Jeanno Gaussi (Berlin). The Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation is a cooperating partner. “The Other Kabul” will open in summer 2022 at the Kunstmuseum Thun in Switzerland.

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