Open call for students in Swiss art schools

As part of the (re) (02) biennial of art and urban nature - Beyond Water, the art-werk committee and the exhibition partners are organizing a competition open to all students enrolled in Swiss art schools. Submissions are invited for the selection of two “instruction” poster works.

Open call for students in Swiss art schools
Adrien Missika, (Give Trees a Name), in Berlin
Instruction by artist Adrien Missika entitled Give Trees a Name. Image Meret Freise, Berlin, 2021


  • One proposal per participant
  • A digital file in pdf or jpg format, size A3, portrait orientation
  • A completed application form
  • CV


  • The competition rewards the two most interesting proposals with:
  • A cash prize of 500 CHF,
  • Exhibition during the biennial alongside the instructions of internationally renowned artists,
  • Writing of a text related to the particular instruction by a scientist or an art historian,
  • Reproduction of the instruction in the exhibition catalog,
  • Possible exhibition of the work-instruction at the next editions of (re) in Geneva, Kiel, Seoul and Berlin.

In addition, the committee will select 10 instructions to be exhibited at the Bains de Pâquis from 18 August to 15 September 2023.

Exhibition view, in Geneva
(re), instructions, exhibition view at andata.ritorno, Geneva, 2021. Image Julien Gremaud

Selection jury

  • Francesca Benini - Curator at Musée d’art de la Suisse italienne
  • Roxane Bovet - Independent curator & Editions Clinamen
  • Dehlia Hannah - CIC Berlin
  • Elisabeth Jobin - Curator and art historian
  • Ursula Ströbele - Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, München
  • Mirjam Varadinis - Curator at Kunsthaus Zürich
  • Bernard Vienat - Independent curator head of art-werk.

Submission by email only to Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered. You can send your questions to

Tips and Tricks for composing instructions

The implementation of the instructions can be seen as the composition of a musical score for a free performance by external participants. Participants in the workshops, visitors to the exhibition, and passers-by in public spaces are invited to implement the instructions, in the same way as musicians would perform a piece.

The instructions can be formulated by means of different logocentric or non-logocentric languages: text, drawing, photograph, digital work, etc.
Since instructions are presented in several language regions, they must be translatable. For works that play with other types of signifiers than text, consideration of accessibility to as wide an audience as possible is encouraged.
The proposals for action conveyed by the instructions can vary in their interpretation, ranging from a simple call for reflection to the accomplishment of a performative act or the creation of an object.

The idea of presenting instructions is to play on the reproducibility of the medium, and to adapt the type of format according to the different exhibition and publication contexts. The instructions are presented depending on the context in different sizes such as DINA0, A1, ­A2 and A4, and should therefore ideally be limited to one vertical page in digital format. The poster needs to have the aspect ratio of the DIN paper format in portrait orientation.

You will find the instructions from previous editions on the website.

Antje Majewski, Speak, Weisser Gänsefuss, in Kreuzberg
(re), instructions, exhibition view at andata.ritorno, Geneva, 2021. Image Julien Gremaud
(re), instructions, exhibition view at andata.ritorno, Geneva, 2021. Image Julien Gremaud

An ecologically oriented meeting of art and science
The Biennale of contemporary art (re) (02) – Beyond Water proposes a (re)focusing of attention on the natural beings and elements that compose urban nature, questioning sustainability within contemporary and curatorial practices. In the exhibition, in situ and instructional poster works created by local and international artists are presented in public space. The exhibition is accompanied by a 30-day program that includes workshops, performances, and screenings, developed in collaboration with partner institutions and with a printed catalog of academic and scientific texts.
Following 2021 editions in Geneva and Berlin, the 2023 ‘(re)’ is centered on lakes and water. With sites around Geneva’s famous harbors – between the Eaux Vives beach, the Gustave Ador quay and the Bains des Pâquis – the exhibition will also focus on places rich in biodiversity, such as the Pointe à la Bise and the Lac des Vernes.
The biennial aims to be a sustainable, mobile and environmentally-friendly exhibition. From the conception of the works to the recovery of the materials used - via transport, local production, and the integration of a mobility plan - the exhibition favors sustainable forms of production and dissemination.

The works on display
In addition to the in situ works presented in public space and in the partner venues, the artists are invited to create instructional works as protocols for the use of visitors. Created by the artists specifically for the (re) project, they invite a practical or metaphorical interaction with natural elements and non-human beings, while renewing or shifting the attention paid to the environment.
In September 2023, they will be presented on big posters in the public space panels on the Quai Gustave-Ador, as well as in various locations within the exhibition area. The works of art are also designed to be presented in other exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad. Those created for the first edition of (re) have already been exhibited in 5 cities, and the new creations will also “travel” to the other cities where the (re) project will be presented. Some of them will also become the basis for mediation workshops with primary school classes, or mediation workshops within the biennial.
The works instructed play on the reproducibility and infinite adaptability of the medium according to the different exhibition and publication contexts. During the exhibition, the smaller posters will be offered to the public. They will also be accessible on the website.

Zheng Bo, Drawing Weeds Practice, Berlin
Zheng Bo, Drawing Weeds Practice, work “instruction”, 2021. Here, the artist proposes a direct communion between the interpreter of the instruction and a plant, which the latter should choose, as if by attraction, in a subjective way: a grass that would speak to him. By emphasizing the living character of the plant, he implicitly invites the viewer to draw it before burying the drawing in the ground and letting the microbes decompose it. Zheng Bo invites us to change our relationship with plants and to go beyond the conventions of drawing. The aim is not to “know” how to draw or to know the name of the plant, but to share a moment with it.
Activation of the instruction of the artist Zheng Bo, Berlin
Activation of the instruction of the artist Zheng Bo, Berlin, 2021.