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«Barbara Bleisch trifft»- that is the title of a new series of talks at Dampfzentrale Bern. The name says it all: four times a year, the stage belongs to well-known philosopher and author Barbara Bleisch. Each time, she meets an inspiring personality of her choice from the worlds of culture, politics, art and science to discuss current events and to explore the thought spaces and experiences of her guests. In the conversations, uncomfortable issues are taken up and questions are thought through to the end – without taboos, honestly and without spectacle.

The audience is also called upon: a «Zettelkasten» is converted into an analog commentary column in which the listeners can contribute, free of digital gadgetry and without having to expose themselves.
The first guests in the series are: the award-winning philosopher and publicist Carolin Emcke, the well-known Swiss artist Miriam Cahn, the go-getting Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr, and Judith Schalansky, author and multi-award-winning “Naturkunden” editor at Matthes&Seitz.

Miriam Cahn

Miriam Cahn was born in Basel in 1949. Her father was an art and antiques dealer, her mother a housewife, who introduced Miriam to drawing and playing music at an early age. After studying Graphic Arts at the Basel College of Applied Art (1968-73), Miriam initially worked as a drawing teacher and academic draughtswoman until 1976. Her sister’s suicide led her to become an independent artist. She became involved in the anti-nuclear and the women’s rights movements, for example as a delegate of the Organisation for Women’s Issues (OFRA) at the 1976 Warsaw Peace Conference. Between December 1979 and January 1980, as part of an after-dark art protest, Miriam painted murals on the so-called ‘Northern Tangent’, a motorway bridge under construction at that time in Basel. This protest was brought to the attention of the police and resulted in prosecution.

Miriam won recognition as an artist and gained an international reputation early on in her career. Her first exhibition (1977, Galerie Stampa, Basel) was followed by numerous individual and group exhibitions, increasingly throughout Europe. Miriam was invited to documenta 7 in 1982 but withdrew her contribution before the official opening due to the curatorial intervention by Rudi Fuchs. In 1984, she took part in the Venice Biennale. Miriam lived in Berlin between 1985 and 1989 before returning to Basel. In 2002, she had a large solo exhibition at Centre PasquArt in Biel, where her paintings were shown comprehensively for the first time, followed by the solo exhibition Miriam Cahn: re-considered escape ways (2006) at the Kirchner Museum in Davos. After that, little was heard about the Swiss artist. However, the 2014 exhibition Miriam Cahn: corporel/körperlich at Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris, which was also held at Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau in 2015, led to the artist’s rediscovery. In 2017, Miriam appeared at documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel. Two years later, parallel solo exhibitions were held at Kunsthaus Bregenz and Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid.

Barbara Bleisch

Barbara Bleisch, Dr. phil., studied Philosophy, German Literature and Religious Studies in Zurich, Basel and Tübingen, before completing her doctorate at the Centre for Ethics at the University of Zurich. She has been hosting the programme «Sternstunde Philosophie» for the Swiss public broadcaster SRF since 2010 and writing as a columnist for the Swiss daily newspaper «Tages-Anzeiger» since 2018. Barbara is a member of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Zurich and lectures Ethics in various advanced study programmes. Further, she is a member of the jury of the Tractatus award for philosophical essay writing. Her most recent publications include «Wanting Children» (together with Andrea Büchler, Hanser), «Why We Owe Our Parents Nothing» (Hanser), «Familial Obligations» (Suhrkamp) and «Ethical Decision-Making» (Versus).

Masks mandatory in the performance venue. Admission only with a digital Covid certificate (Swiss Covid certificate or EU/EFTA Digital Covid Certificate) and official ID (ID, passport, driving license). Further information here.


Supported by: GVB Kulturstiftung und Gesellschaft zu Zimmerleuten,  Stiftung STAB, Jubiläumsstiftung der vonRoll Holding AG

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