• Luigi Scaglioso, Metal worker, Equi-libre, 1979, Photo: Jürg Altherr Courtesy of the Artist Family

  • Manuel Torres, Enlacé, 1974, Biel/Bienne. Photo: Isabelle Reymond

  • Schang Hutter, Vertschaupet, 1980, Biel/ Bienne. Photo: le matin


«Framing Sculptures»,
05 – 28 mai 2023

Becoming part of history

The parcours of the Swiss Sculpture Exhibition at the Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography

The theme of this year's Festival is "Physicalities". «Framing Sculptures» a three-part interactive parcours, the Swiss Sculpture Exhibition (ESS-SPA) invites the public to situate themselves in the frame with with the sculptures and become part of the history. With a selfie and a photoframe, the viewers becomes agents, putting themselves in scene and conveying their point of view in an image that can be uploaded on social media with #ess-spa #bielerfototage #journeephotobienne #framingsculptures. Everyone becomes part of the story of the city, the individual sculpture and the ESS-SPA. «Framing Sculptures» was developed in collaboration with the Institute for Art History at the University of Bern.

For almost 70 years, the ESS-SPA has been leaving visible traces in Biel. These statues, bodies and constructions in the public space have become recognisable symbols of the city: Jürg Altherr's "Pencils" (Equi-libre, 1979) at the Pres-de-la-Rive, Schang Hutter's "Vertschaupet" (1980) in front of Biel's railway station or Manuel Torres' "Enlacé" (1974) at the Promenade de la Suze audio have now become part of the parcours «Framing Sculptures» for the Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography.

You can also listen to the sculptures in an inclusive audio project where the objects talk about themselves. This adds an additional dimension and an expansion of sensory perception to this project. The content is inclusive, in the sense that it can be accessed by everyone, including people with visual impairments or reduced mobility. Via smartphone or computer, before, after and during the parcours, the content can be accessed in three languages (dt/fr/en). Access is provided on site with a QR code, via mobile phone or the website.

Concept, production & voice : Isabelle Reymond 

Enlacé by Manuel Torres at the Promenade of the river Suze in Biel

Vertschaupet by Schang Hutter at the train station in Biel

Equi-libre by Jürg Altherr on the lakeshore in Biel

(Artistic) witnesses wanted! "Framing Sculptures" is also the occasion for the Institute of Art History of the University of Bern to launch its research project "Öffentlichkeiten der Kunst. Die Geschichte der Schweizerischen Plastikausstellung", supported for four years by the Swiss National Science Foundation. In this context, snapshots from family albums, texts, videos and audio reports as well as social network posts can be uploaded to the public-arts.ch digital citizen platform. In this way, an archive will gradually be created that will include the population of Biel in the process of writing history. Do you have any personal memories or archives relating to the past 13 editions of the Swiss Sculpture Exhibition? Share them here!

On the 13th and 28th of May, an intervention will take place on the square in front of the train station as part of the Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography. On these two days, everyone is invited to pass by and take part in a scene with Schang Hutter's sculpture "Vertschaupet" in a dedicated area, to become part of history.


Saturday, 13th of May 2023, from 2 to 5 pm «Framing Sculptures», train station, Biel/Bienne

Sunday, 28th of May 2023, from 3 to 6 pm «Framing Sculptures», train station, Biel/Bienne

    Media release of the University of Bern, May 1, 2023 (in German or French)