Idyll with flaws

The garden of violence

Switzerland, an idyll of peace and quiet? Reality proves otherwise. Facades and clichés, are only part of society. Violence is a topic: in Switzerland and at the National Exhibition. The Garden of Violence addresses what causes fear in secret.

The Garden of Violence reveals all the ambiguity that violence conceals. Embedded in the beauty of a garden landscape, it seems unsuspicious, even harmless. Just as it is: repressed, concealed, a part of our seemingly normal everyday life. Then suddenly it strikes: abruptly, disturbingly, leaving victims and wounds in its wake.

Irritations and contrasts

The core of the complex is the Mediterranean Garden. Among vegetables and fragrant herbs, old, gnarled olive and fruit trees evoke familiar feelings, but at the same time they seem strange in this place. The other parts of the garden also display subtle irritations and sharp contrasts. A steep wooded area, which together with the old Lindensaal most strongly characterises the park, is compacted with dead wood. Exotic tree ferns mingle with native ground ferns.

The Mediterranean grove is contrasted with a Nordic one: The southern grove can be seen as a garden that has been domesticated. The Nordic grove - a woodland of bizarre shape - is wilder

Museum and garden: a unity

The main part of the irritation and thematic exploration of violence, however, is provided by artistic interventions that can be seen both in the garden itself and in the neighbouring local museum. Museum and garden form a unity that is simultaneously reinforced and alienated by two pavilions cast in wax.

Former Council of States member René Rhinow, who has been President of the Swiss Red Cross for two months, wants to use the Expo.02 project as an impulse for dialogue with the population. The two other project partners, the International Red Cross and the Avina Foundation of the industrialist Stephan Schmidheiny, are also seeking this dialogue.


Visitor capacity per day

Total visitors

Avina Foundation Switzerland, Hurden
International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC, Geneva 
Swiss Red Cross SRC, Berne 

International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC (Vincent Lusser), Geneva 
Swiss Red Cross SRC, Berne 

Concept and overall design garden
Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten AG (Günther Vogt, Detlef Schulz), Zurich 

Curators garden
Assocation Piano Nobile (Winka Angelrath, Marie-Eve Knoerle, Pascal Mabut), Geneva

Artists garden
Rémy Marlot, Martine Derain and Dalila Mahjoub, Cécile Dupaquier, Tina Keane, Chantal Mélia and François Loriot, Jenny Perlin

Curators museum
Johannes Gachnang, Daniel Baumann, Maï-Thu Perret, Fabrice Stroun

Artists museum
Nayland Blake, Angela Bulloch, Henry Darger, Charles and Ray Eames, Elise Gagnebin-De Bons, Fabrice Gygi, Mike Kelley, Liz Larner, Olivier Mosset, Genêt Mayor, Cady Noland, Jean-Frédéric Schnyder, Félix Vallotton, Richard Wright

Coaching Expo.02
Danielle Nanchen (Head)
Caroline Rousset

Anne-Lise Duc, Beat Wagner, Maxine Wildhaber

Photos: Press kit The garden of violence; Flyer The Garden of Violence; © Jürg Frei; © Andreas Mosimann; © Philipp Zanatta