«Public Retreat» is an ongoing project Heusser started in 2016 in association with Manifesta 11 Parallel Events in Zürich.
The architectural sculptures are primely build in public spaces and function as retreat chambers. The work questions the dynamics of occidental working culture and is a reflection of the current social situation in which capitalism has created an individual and value-less society, pushing us to look for spiritual shelter in shamans, hinduspirituality, and relaxation techniques.
Daydream Retreat, 2017 Swab Art Fair - Barcelona
Manifesta 11 - Zürich
Simon Heusser creates public retreats as a part of his artistic practice. On the occasion of Manifesta 11 Parallel Events, he built a site-specific publicly accessible installation on the terrace of ETH Zurich, as a contrast to the business and big city hectic. The work refers to a phenomenon of Western working culture: the request for spiritua recreational trips. Historical flatbeds from the time of the “Lebensreform” (life reform) movement
are set up inside the installatio and invite to rest. They figure as local reference to air- and sunbaths, pioneer of the present-day retreats. Paradise Retreat also signifies an echo chambe to the body culture of the early 20th century at Monte Verita and to the contemporary wellnes movement. The retreat includes a sound installation produced by musician Bruno Spoerri.