6th Swiss Scultpure Exhibition Biel
Five years after the previous Swiss Sculpture Exhibition, the city of Biel again has the great honour of presenting a new overview of sculptural creation in our country. We deeply regret that the initiator of the previous shows, Marcel Joray, has not been able to carry on the great enterprise that he launched with extraordinary enthusiasm and a unique knowledge of the subject. The institution, which has become a tradition, has lost its spiritual father. We hope that the Sculpture Exhibition of Biel will continue to radiate outwards. Its influence, and the high international regard in which Swiss sculptors have come to be held, are Joray's achievement. As a small token of our deep gratitude, a section of this year's exhibition, i.e. an Hommage à Marcel Joray shall unite several works from the initial period.
Unless Joray's legacy was to fall victim to inglorious oblivion, a way had to be found for it to survive in one form or another. The establishment of a foundation called Stiftung Schweizerische Plastikausstellung Biel seemed to be the most suitable vehicle for its continued presence. The municipal authorities of Biel under the stewardship of the President of the City Council, Fritz Stähli, have made a significant contribution. We owe them a great debt of gratitude. Just as important was the selection of a new director. We trust that we may have found a suitable successor to Marcel Joray in the person of Maurice Ziegler from Zürich. The local Working Group provides valuable and indispensable support. These changes in personnel and function required us to re-think the exhibition concept and so novelties will present themselves in a new setting.
Art does not obey the laws of traditional rational thought. Much less does it pursue economic goals and purposes. It quite simply exists – one of many human spiritual needs; a guide on the journey towards new territory; a mediator between the conceivable and the feasible, between feeling and reality; a metaphor for other forms of social and societal existence; a stimulus to change our thinking, seeing, hearing. And so, the 6th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition also wants to take – and command – its rightful place in the world of artistic creation in our country. May it bring artists and the general public face to face and closer together; may it inspire fruitful discussions. Last, but not least, may it be a calling card for our city of Biel to be proud of.
I take great pleasure in expressing our gratitude –
to the municipal authorities and all members of staff for their physical, organisational and personal assistance and support; to the cantonal and federal authorities for their generous commitment; to the numerous companies and private sponsors in Biel and elsewhere without whose generosity our goal would have been unattainable; to the exhibition director and his entire, tireless staff; to the members of our Foundation Board; to the Guild of Biel's Old Town (Altstadtleist Biel) for their forbearance; to our unknown ancestors who left us this beautiful medieval town; and to all the artists – the beginning and the end of all our endeavours.
© Translation from German, July 2008: Margret Powell-Joss