BLOCH is a global and multidisciplinary project by Swiss artist duo Com&Com (Marcus Gossolt / Johannes M. Hedinger), which unites contemporary art and folk culture and creates a dialogue among various people, traditions, and customs.
The Bloch is part of an old carnival tradition from the Swiss region of Appenzell. When the last spruce tree is felled in the winter, the trunk – known as the Bloch – is pulled by twenty men from the village of Urnäsch to Herisau and back. At the end of this one-day procession, the trunk is sold to the highest bidder in the village square of Urnäsch to be processed into shingles or furniture.
In 2011, Com&Com bought the Bloch and planned to send it on a journey around the globe, with stops on every continent (2012-2015).
Our goal is to develop a new Bloch procession at each station based on local traditions. In the process, the original custom and its meaning will change, enter into a dialogue with foreign cultures and people, mix with new elements, and be reinterpreted. At every stage of the journey, something completely new will emerge. This art event will be accompanied by discussions (talks, symposia) and other cultural and social events (exhibits, festivals, music, theater), as well as individual artworks, short films, and a website.
Bloch was purchased at an auction in Urnäsch on March 7 2011 by Com&Com. On Oct 4 2011 he had his first TV appereance at TEDxZurich Conference. From Oct 27. – Nov 20. 2011 it was be part of the exhibition “3 heures 57 minutes” at Fonderie Kugler Genève. Until April 2012 Bloch was stored at Kunstgiesserei in St. Gallen, where we printed with it and the last preparations for the big journey were made.
On June 1./2. 2012 Bloch visited Berlin/Germany as its first abroad station. In collaboration with Bazon Brock and his Denkerei and the Swiss Embassy there were performances, a processions, a conference, an exhibition and a concert.
The next stations of Bloch were Art Basel (Swiss Art Awards, June 11.-17.), ZKM and Profibürger with Bazon Brock in Karlsruhe/Germany (July 19), Helmhaus Zurich (July 27 – Sept 9 2012) and Lagerhaus St.Gallen (Aug. 30- Sept. 23).
Then Bloch left Europe in a Container and traveled to Asia where it was presented in Taiwan (Juming Museum Taipei, Oct 21 – Feb 17. 2013) and was part of the 9. Shanghai Biennale (October 1 2012 – March 31 2013) at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai/China.
in May 2013 the Bloch Project will be exhibited in Japan Creative Centre in Singapore
To support the project we have launched the “Internationale Bloch Gesellschaft” – a society of friends of Bloch.