reality is not

reality is not
at UNI, universitätstrasse 33, ZH
open on fri, sat, sun from 15h to 20h
or by appointment
vernissage: 03.12 from 17h
finissage: 11.12 from 15h
dinner: 10 & 11.12 by reservation
info [at] uniun [dot] fit

Reality is not. Reality is not a negation. Reality is an infinite accumulation of negations.

Reality encloses the real. It is the subjective gaze which imposes itself on the real and seeks to limit its contingency. Reality only wants to objectify itself in truth, in order to determine the static state of what is meant to be real. Its only purpose is then to affirm the injunction of social constraints.

Denying reality liberates the real and its boundless multiplicity. It places identity in a peaceful state of distortions. Contingency no longer creates fear, separation, or the necessity to say what is in order to constrain what seeks to be otherwise. Contingency becomes an harmony of the bizarre. It creates a mutation of our ephemeral presence.

Any distortion is thus understood as the transitive gesture which occupies our ephemeral nowness to destroy and renew it. Its mutant power rids us of the anxiety caused by the feeling that everything established within us is an illusion. We consent to our prison, but the negation transcends the lie that we offer ourselves as a social anesthetic. The reality is raw and hope therefore is possible.

The real remains an impenetrable movement, a negation of the static states of reality. To say that the reality is not deposes the authoritative representations which prevent us from not being. To deny is a way towards the otherwise.

To unceasingly want to shake-off what is instituted is a way of shaping the interstice within which the norm is overthrown. This interstice is in constant flux, and what we are not, what we cannot be changes along with it. It is the malleable space buried under the ideological confrontations of social realities which dictate what is and what must be. Inside us. Outside us. What must be our totality.

But we do not want to be.

Realty is not

Not to be is an act of occupation. It insinuates itself within the dominant in order to overthrow it. It is responsable for the joyful otherness of our mutations. It is in the distortion of the image that a space of hope can blossom. That space is situated between each of the destructive affirmations necessary for social peace, essential to the authorities who command it.

Our mutation is a political gesture of the dream. It is born for and from the negation of norms. To make a space of free becoming. What claims to be is no longer, and our desire not to be becomes the abundance of our bad manners.


reality is not - AAA
NKVD Order No. 00447 of July 30, 1937, about repression of former kulaks, criminals, and other anti-Soviet elements, is a paroxysmal and totalitarian moment of the institutional power. The Order No. 00447 resulted in the arrest of 800,000 Soviet citizens, of whom more than 350,000 were sentenced to death. Here are 00447 women considered as enemies of the state and executed during the Stalinist era, from 1929 to 1953, the majority of which during the years 1937-1938. The irreality of their ghost remains the echo of ours.


AAA (Amicale des Automates Autonomistes) is a swarm that roams the shadows of cyberspace. They try to replace the vertical idea of art with the horizontal idea of network. Their gest and their gestures are an open source offering to the multitude.

Forgotten memories

reality is not - Lorenzo Ballirano & Iyo Bisseck
Lorenzo’s drawings evoke different emotions, states, and sensations personified through fictitious human figures. They respond to the fictional 3D worlds of Iyo to generate a plurality of perceptions and play with the boundaries of reality. In these spaces where the notion of time itself is abandoned, Lorenzo and Iyo allow us to question our preconceptions and erase the partitions of our realities.

Lorenzo Ballirano & Iyo Bisseck

Lorenzo Ballirano and Iyo Bisseck are two artists working together in mixed media to establish a dialog between Lorenzo’s drawings and Iyo’s 3D worlds.

Crushpad Climax

reality is not - Johanna Bruckner
HD/4K 3-channel-video installation
12 minutes
Bruckner’s work is a collage of Dark Room Sci-Fi, queer post-pornography, and extra- terrestrial social bonding. She approaches queer net pornography in terms of its affectively interwoven corporeality, formed between sensation, technology and labour within the internet. The principal element in her new multimedia installation is net porn data that dissipates, becomes lost, and fails because it is outside the spectrum of the usable. Aggregating these “non-existent” data into corporealities of transition, Bruckner’s collage envisions the potential of digital failure as a refusal to submit to contemporary “dataveillance” society. At the same time, these bodies propose the conditions for a trans- corporeal experiences and their infrastructures. They are no longer inserted into the production process as mechanical human engines forced to move to the rhythm of the machine, the internet. Rather, they are born of assemblage of data crumbs, cybernetic rupture, as material-social assemblages, which embody prosthetic forms of cyber struggles.

Johanna Bruckner

Johanna Bruckner is an internationally exhibited artist. Her work relates to ideas of networks and ecologies of trust and care and emphasizes on imagination as a central instrument for new temporalities. She unsettles and expands notions on the human body, intimacies and emotional worlds produced by the ongoing transformation of technology. She conceives of the hybridization of the nonhuman and human is a starting point for the indeterminacy and queerness of being. Solo exhibitions, screenings and performances: MAXXI - National Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome; Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt; 57th Venedig Biennale; Mamco, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Genf; Architektur Biennale, Venedig.

What haunts you, wants you

reality is not - Kim de l'Horizon

An invitation to sit down with your monsters

Monsters have populated my life as long as I can think “I”. They were threatening. They were threateningly cool. They were the other that I knew was there, but impossible for me to see. Impossible were also their bodies: X-times bigger than the space under my bed. And yet they were there, under my bed. When I grew up, I grew up to be a monster myself. I grew up knowing that there was no space for my body. I grew up with this choir of monsters in my system. The queerphobic and binary and ableist monsters being the phalanx. And I always thought that these were my very personal monsters. But there is no individual monster. Monsters are always cultural, collective; monsters are the shadow of our society. And they haunt you for a reason. Because no one else will listen. But there is a song to sing together. So, sit down into this “Bannkreis”, this magical protecting circle: The misfits, the bastards, the hybrids will guard you. Sit down, look the monsters in the eyes and sing what stings.

Kim de l’Horizon

Kim de l’Horizon (they/them), born on the planet Gethen in 2666, studied German, Film and Theater Studies in the ivory tower, Creative Crying in Biel, as well as witchcraft with Starhawk. In the Master Transdisciplinarity at ZHdK, Kim is currently moving on the borders between literature and painting, theory and art, ceramics and Rupaul, as well as on the borders of the human. In the season 21/22 they are in-house playwright* at the Stadttheater Bern in the program Stücklabor. Kims novel will be published in autumn 2022. In order to get street credibility on the vast and dire territories of cultural blabla, Kim won a few prizes: The Infraromantic prize for Unwritten Poetry, the OpenNet competition for a symbiotic net-system, the Treibhaus award for young hybrid plants and the Dramenprozessor for their posthuman play “Dann mach doch Limonade, bitch”. They are a scholarship holder* of the Ernst-Göhner-Foundation for artists in training, which is why they work out every day. Every. Single. Day.

Surface 4.0

reality is not - Marie-Ève Levasseur
Surface 4.0 (devenir pieuvre, devenir plante, devenir l’autre) is a virtual world based on a fictive situation, where human beings would be able to generate themselves a temporary second skin that covers the body all over (inside and outside), acting as a prosthesis, interface or extension. Living in a vernacular network of communication between humans and non-humans, this second skin would become a tool for comprehension and empathy between genders, species and identities. You can put yourself in another’s skin and feel what another body can feel.

Marie-Ève Levasseur

Marie-Ève Levasseur is a Canadian artist living between Montréal and Leipzig. Her work deals with intimacy, interactions, non-human ecosystems, mediating devices as extensions and perception of language or images through screens. Using diverse forms and techniques like video, installation, sculpture, prints, 3D animation and Augmented Reality, she questions the proximity of technological and organic surfaces in a posthuman context as well as our perception of device-mediated content, using speculative fabulation as a tool and feminist science fiction as inspiration.


reality is not - Donia Jornod
Video installation
12’55’’ (Loop)
3 channel video
plaster and silicon sculptures

Disappearance of the referential being

Donia Jornod’s work Simulacra is a take on an era in which “the Absolute Fake” dominates and has made us fall into another state where reality is not. In this state of being, consciousness is lost, and the only thing left is simulation. This work is conceived as a probe towards another medium revealing the copy of a copy. Information is devoured and digested. There is no longer a referential object, territory, being, or substance, and we are now left in the rubble of what is.

Donia Jornod

Donia Jornod was born with the premises of the internet. She currently lives and works in Zürich. Her work focuses on the perceptible limits of reality through the human body. Each piece begins as a mental image, in search of the moment in which memories and realities superimpose, disintegrate and deform. Working with both digital and physical mediums, she has developed a fascination for the body that she understands as an echo of a political state.

Possibly Maybe

reality is not - Julie Monot
glazed stoneware
35 X 26 X 11 cm

Julie Monot

Julie Monot holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from HEAD in Geneva (2017) and a Master’s degree in Visual Arts from ECAL in Lausanne (2019). Her artistic practice is inscribed in different mediums such as performance, installation and video. Her research has focused, among other things, on the limits of bodily exteriority and its modes of representation. The notion of figure is part of her specific interests, because this notion is polysemic and moving, but especially, because it allows a figural space, critical on our social constructions. The accessory of transformation, the costume, the mask, the body “furniture” and its objects in connection with a praxis are part of his daily reflections.


reality is not - Valentina Pini
6’56’’ (loop)
2 channel sound, projection, variable dimensions
Sound: Micha Seidenberg
Camera: Loris Ciresa

Water into Wine shows an artistic variation of a simple magic trick, which is a physical process: an exchange of liquids between water and wine in a specially created environment. We see several drinking glasses piled up like towers, two of each upside down, so that the liquid remains enclosed in them. Crowned by another glass with a coloured solution, the “glass towers” pose like characters in a Dadaist theatre in front of a kitschy purple curtain. The quick camera cuts and close-ups capture leisurely dripping moments and gentle swirls in the trapped liquids. We sink into a contemplative state in which we only gradually realise that the water in the glasses stacked upside down is slowly taking on colour. The sound composed by the composer Micha Seidenberg focuses on the spectral aspect of the colours as well as on the micro movement visible in the liquid. Seidenberg transforms metaphorically these elements through specific harmonics and sonorities.


Color photograms (70 x 80 cm)
from the series CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT, 2020.

Valentina Pini

Valentina Pini (b. 1982, Ticino, Switzerland) lives and works in Zürich. She studied fine art in Geneva (HEAD), Akademie der bildenden Künste Vienna and she graduated in 2015 from an MA in Sculpture at Royal College of Art, London. Fascinated with reaction and evolution of materials, alchemy and phenomenological experience, her art practice is structured around the perception of matter. In her own way, with a mix of humour and rigour she plays with illusions and realities. Her sculptures show delicate and intricate visions of seemingly peaceful and irrelevant objects. Moving on a fine line between the recognisable and the indeterminate, her installations enable us to marvel thanks to their transformative power, that turns everyday objects to new unlikely purposes. Her work intertwines sculpture, installation and video and it falls somewhere between chemistry and magic, where the creation is not confessed flagrantly but disclosed subtly. Her work was recently showed at the Swiss Arts Awards, Basel 2021, at Last Tango, Zürich and in December will be part of the Media Arts Biennial at the Museo de Bella Artes, Santiago, Chile. Recent solo shows include Kunsthalle Arbon, Curiosity killed the cat, Arbon, ZQM, With two naked eyes watching slime on the ocean floor, Berlin, Dienstgebäude, Snake oil, Zürich, Garage, Soluble, Zürich, DeptfordX gallery,Tonic Immobility, London. In 2018 she was the recipient of the Werkbeitrag (Canton Zürich) and on the same year she won a studio residency in South Africa supported by Pro Helvetia. In 2021 she took part to a residency program (CAB Tierra del Fuego) hosted by Pro Helvetia in Patagonia and a four-month residency in Berlin supported by Kanton Zürich.

what stands behind these proscriptions?

reality is not - malgorzata stankiewicz
3 min audio
colour lightbulb

unmistakable tracks

in 2016, białowieża primeval forest was the site of unlawful, large-scale logging authorised by the polish government. for the past few months, the forest, known as puszcza białowieska, has been at the heart of a humanitarian crisis as thousands of migrants and refugees seeking safety in europe are trapped in the forest, sometimes for weeks, while the border patrol engages in illegal pushbacks and prevents aid from reaching those in need.

malgorzata stankiewicz

małgorzata stankiewicz
b. olsztyn, poland (1986)
living and working in zurich, switzerland

born in poland, małgorzata stankiewicz is an artist living in zurich, switzerland. working across various media, through her work stankiewicz questions the existing western paradigm of extractive domination and human-nature dichotomy, and aims to encourage a critical reflection on the upheld anthropocentric worldview. educated in journalism at the london college of communication, and analogue & alternative photography at icp in new york, she is currently completing her master’s degree in fine arts at édhéa in sierre. to date her works have been exhibited throughout europe, north america, and asia. in 2017, she was awarded the unseen dummy award for her artist’s book cry of an echo dedicated to the unlawful destruction of the białowieża forest. she is currently working on a new body of work exploring the phenomenon of aquatic hypoxia in the baltic sea.


reality is not - Margaretha Jüngling
Osmazomes a dinner that is not.

Margaretha Jüngling

Margaretha Jüngling (*1988, Thusis) breathes, thinks, cooks, writes, walks, studies, sleeps, eats (and so on) currently in Zurich. She is studying in the master’s program Transdisciplinarity at the ZHdK, in which she tries to reinterrogate and explore her accumulated experiences as a cook from a variety of perspectives. In doing so, she follows the ingredients in their chemical compositions, traces their biological data, questions their symbolisms, follows their cultural histories. The process of cooking forms the site in which she can create with what is found other stories by combining, cooking and consuming ingredients in different ways. These can be found in an as speculative dinners, collective eating experiences, edible fantasies and many (giveaway) bags of knowledge. So far she had found success in various PopUp’s in and around Zurich. Together with Luc Häfliger she opened the Bistro in the Muzeum Susch. In the collective UNI as well as in the collective Vazem she participates in the club culture seeing it as a broad field.


Lorenzo Ballirano & Iyo Bisseck

Johanna Bruckner

Kim de l’Horizon

Marie-Ève Levasseur

Donia Jornod

Julie Monot

Valentina Pini

malgorzata stankiewicz

Margaretha Jüngling