Alexandra Bachzetsis’ latest work is a combined exhibition and live performances that explores the relationship between the staging of the excessive body and its consumption by the coveting gaze.

Staging the excessive body


CHF 23.–/18.– (concessions and groups) inclusive Collection.
Free admission for members, children and young people under the age of 17 and every Wednesday.

Note for groups

We look forward to welcoming you to the Kunsthaus. For organizational reasons, prior registration is required., +41 44 253 84 84


Alexandra Bachzetsis (b. 1974) is a choreographer and visual artist who lives and works in Zurich. Her artistic practice is located at the interface between dance, performance, visual art and theatre. Many of her works are concerned with choreographies of the body and in particular with the ways in which we appropriate gestures, modes of expression, patterns of identification and fantasies from popular culture as we constantly reinvent and define our bodies. Bachzetsis is interested in the reciprocal influence of ‘popular commercial’ media (social media, video clips and television) and ‘art’ (ballet, modern and contemporary dance, performance and visual art).


Public guided tours

9. and 23. April at 11 a.m. Tickets on the agenda !

Private guided tour

Group size: max. 15
Languages: German, English, French, Italian
Cost: admission to the exhibition (groupe rate) + CHF 190.– (German) / CHF 220.– (other languages), duration: 1 hour

Alexandra Bachzetsis’s works have been shown around the world in major museums and theatres as well as biennials and festivals. The Kunsthaus Zürich already has a lengthy association with the artist, who was awarded the City of Zurich Art Prize in 2018. An early work by her was shown here back in 2008, and other performances followed in the ensuing years. Now, the museum version of her latest work, ‘2020: Obscene’, is premiering at the Kunsthaus. In it, she uses performance to explore the interdependencies between the ‘scene’– acting and staging – and the ‘obscene’. That relationship has a long and inspiring history in the philosophy of language, sociology, and cultural and aesthetic theory. Jean Baudrillard employs the obscene as a cultural-critical term to describe our global society, which has become entirely subject to mediatization and in which mediality has become reality. In a 1988 essay, he argues that we are living in an ‘ecstasy of communication’ which he regards as ‘obscene’: ‘Obscenity is not confined to sexuality, because today there is a pornography of information and communication (…) It is no longer the obscenity of the hidden, the repressed, the obscure, but that of the visible, all-too-visible.’

Alexandra Bachzetsis, Photo © Peggy June

2020: Obscene

The idea for Alexandra Bachzetsis’s new piece came during the first lockdown; hence the reference to the year in its title. In it, she tackles extreme physical and emotional experiences, but also isolation and death. ‘2020: Obscene’ further investigates the possibilities of theatre with regard to seduction, attraction and games of sexual identity; and the performing body itself as a place manifesting the alienation and limitations of human existence. The performers are confronted with their own corporealities – with the contradictions between intuition and gesture, light and dark, score and script, as well as norm and form.

Supported by the Dr Georg and Josi Guggenheim Foundation

Ill. above: Alexandra Bachzetsis. 2020: Obscene, Photo © Melanie Hofmann


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