July - October 2023 — Visual Arts
Swiss stone carver and sculptor Reto Steiner will be on a residency in various locations in Zimbabwe from 17 July to 12 October 2023. His main focus for the residency is to meet and work with Zimbabwean stone carvers and learn more about the aesthetic and cultural influences of their work.
Reto will begin his residency in Harare where, together with local artist Georgina Maxim, he will get to know the city’s art scene and meet other artists. In August he will spend the month in Mutorashanga with Gideon Gomo, a well-known sculptor from Harare, to carve stone with and next to him. Reto then hopes to spend a month in the village of Tengenenge where a community of stone carvers live and work.
“Working in stone is a universal language which, when practised alongside others, can – over time – result in an exchange of ideas,” Reto explains. “I am a long way from [Zimbabwe], both geographically and culturally, but the production of my art is closely linked to it through the universal language of craftsmanship. It is from this duality that I expect to gain deeper insights for my future sculptural work.”
Reto Steiner completed an apprenticeship in stone sculpture and subsequently worked at the Kunstgiesserei Sitterwerk St. Gallen. He was assistant to Swiss artist Markus Raetz. After a Master’s degree in Contemporary Arts Practice at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, he won the Jury Award of the Skulptur-Biennale in Winterthur and was awarded the Aeschlimann Corti Scholarship as well as numerous residencies in Switzerland and abroad. He regularly exhibits in group and solo exhibitions. He lives and works in Frutigen. Reto’s stone works seem like artefacts from the future. Messages or signs of a forthcoming past. There are no models for the surreal-like forms. Organic shapes, fossils of a still undiscovered species? For Reto, these are sketches carved in stone. In his manual work on stone, resistance and duration become as important as the sculpture itself.