The professional relationship between Basel-based artist Christoph Büchel and Zurich-based curator Giovanni Carmine started traditionally enough: Carmine commissioned a work by Büchel for the 2002 group show “Unloaded: Coming Up for Air,” which used former Swiss Army bunkers as its exhibition spaces. The next year, Harald Szeemann asked Büchel to contribute to “G 2003: A Village & a Small Town Receive Art,” an outdoor sculpture show in Ticino, the Italian-speaking southern region of Switzerland, and Büchel invited Carmine to join him as an artistic collaborator. The partnership yielded Operation Ex Voto, in which they attempted to transplant a chapel from Vira, a village in Ticino, to Iraq.

“The invasion of Iraq had just begun and we read that looted Iraqi artifacts from the National Museum were arriving in Ticino,” explains Büchel. “Our idea was to dismantle and reconstruct a Swiss chapel

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the special holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price. You’ll receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2005 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.