Text Kisito Assangni

Dialogical Intimacy

Aïda Patricia Schweitzer develops a critique of the body as an artistic tool and site of representation, thought as a scenario resulting from precise human decisions, through a heterogeneous artistic practice that crosses performance, painting, drawing, embroidery, installation and video. Aïda Schweitzer is a self-taught artist of Egyptian and French origins living in Luxembourg. Since 2000, her research-based practice has been centered on a strong art consciousness and self-revolutionary introspection via travel and nomadism between Europe and Africa. Aïda Schweitzer questions the daily order with a rebellious attitude, so as to repeatedly scrutinize and explore the reality of the world, these continuous analyses are reflected through the composure of her works.

 Responsive to its particular context, the art of Aïda Schweitzer explores the relationship between personal and political space, carving openings for dialogue regarding history, identity, socio-political systems of external and internal oppression, and categorization that enmesh individuals. Her creation motive involves long-term accumulated experiences from different cultures and heritages. Aïda Schweitzer reminds us that the human body is constantly engaging with and sometimes colliding with other living and non-living bodies. Bodies exist in a social context amid collective bodies and collective selves. The evacuation of the artist and conventional conceptions of the self and the body are even more prescient today in a world of such profound uncertainty. Aïda Schweitzer makes her own body the material and protagonist of her performances. As a form of social sculpture, performance art is a medium that holds a special place in her heart. It does not comply with usual aesthetic parameters, but rather with a set of forces that collectively form an experience. Nicolas Bourriaud would call this ‘relational aesthetics’ in the sense that the inter-relations of the encounters created between the subjected body and the participants are the performative work. Aïda Schweitzer approaches the vehicle of performance to think in the plural and no longer in terms of individuality, creating poetic and trans-historical narratives.

On the occasion of the 59th Venice Biennale 2022, Aïda Schweitzer was invited to speak on the question How can art fix the world ?  at the Pavilion of San Marino.

Her answer published in the catalogue of The Milky Way project undeniably demonstrates the capacity of art to heal our wounds through its political role of raising awareness in the face of a dominant ideology.

 Drawing is an integral aspect to the artist’s thinking, creative practice, providing evidence of lingering materiality. Drawing is a place where Aïda Schweitzer deliberates. More than any other medium, drawing reveals her intimate thoughts and workings, shaping her personal life story. With drawing, we can see both the finished product and the ideas, but most importantly, we can see the haptic experience of making lines on paper and always, we see it is the thinking hand that remains dominant. Even if drawing as a structural and conceptual necessity exists irrespective of cultural identity, it is seen to occupy a position of critical ascendancy in Aïda Schweitzer’s world. With a material presence and labour intensive realisation, her drawings are a healing process and a reaction against the fleeting experience of images prevalent in our media saturated existence.

Always willing to forge her own path in terms of stylistic development and social intervention, Aïda Schweitzer’s videos focus on the relationships between visual language and other sensorial perceptions, forming a unique sample that is closer to her personal temperament. This, to a large extent, has enhanced her sensitivity to such singular aesthetics and prompted her to discover their contemporary iterations. The artist challenges the determinacy of our existential value while expanding its boundaries. Often referring to the allure and danger of binary categorization and the subsequent absurdity that it unfolds in our political and social climate, her other practices reveal the discrepancies amongst cultural norms, produce new semantics and find sense where meaning was lost.

Aïda Schweitzer’s visual language offers a thoughtful and thought-provoking response to the current moment by manifesting  itself in a concise form to create direct emotional impacts. Psychological space can be made to coexist with pictorial space, enabling a personal revision of history. Ultimately, Aïda Schweitzer’s work can be used to illustrate the notions of contemporary ‘performativity’, given the artist’s ability to re-think and displace visual spectacle toward a conception of the body as the limit of signification.

 

Kisito Assangni
Independent curator