Slow Art in Susch Slow Art in Susch
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Bieraria Veglia, one of the buildings of the Susch Museum, view from the Inn River © Art Stations Foundation CH
Experiences

Slow Art in Susch

Inside the Alpine Art Gallery
Stach Szabłowski
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time 15 minutes

At 1438m above sea level, Grażyna Kulczyk has fulfilled her dream of an art museum in an alpine village. The village is tiny, the ambitions are great, and the museum is extraordinary. Przekrój paid it a visit on the eve of the opening.

Switzerland is not quite my cup of tea. My feet have barely touched its well-developed, clean and expensive ground, and I already feel a bit like an illegal immigrant. It seems that this feeling is not only growing in my heart, but also shows on my face—as soon as I arrive in Zürich, I am selected for a random search from the crowd of passengers. The customs officer hurriedly rummages through my backpack and simultaneously interrogates me, chatting away as if we are mates. He takes a look at my warm clothes, and asks whether it is already cold and wintery in Poland. I respond that the real winter awaits me at my destination: Susch.

“Susch?” he lifts his eyebrow. “That village in Engadine, where that Polish lady is opening a museum of modern art?”

And so, I wonder, can we still say that the idea of “that Polish lady,” Grażyna Kulczyk, to build a museum in a tiny alpine village is a utopian operation, when even customs officers at the airport are already talking about it? I just don’t know whether it says more about the Polish collector’s endeavour, or about Switzerland and its customs officers.

* * *

The road from Zürich to Susch charts the distance between zero degrees sludge and double-digit frost glistening in the full sun. To say that Grażyna Kulczyk is opening a museum at the end of the world is an exaggeration—and yet it isn’t. Susch really does lie at the end of the world, or at least the end of the Swiss world, at the easternmost edge of the country, just a stone’s throw away from Italy and Liechtenstein, in the valley of Engadine in the canton of Grisons. Grisons? Engadine? These are names that seem to belong in some new fantasy saga. And indeed, the closer one gets to Susch, the more the landscape resembles the heroic plein-airs straight out of Lord of the Rings. Until Kulczyk officially opens her museum on January 2, 2019, the national nature reserve remains the biggest tourist attraction in the immediate vicinity

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Also read:

High Culture in the Magic Mountains High Culture in the Magic Mountains
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Photo by Claudio von Planta for Muzeum Susch/Art Stations Foundation CH
Dreams and Visions

High Culture in the Magic Mountains

The Art World’s Alpine Love Affair
Stach Szabłowski

Grażyna Kulczyk could have opened her museum just about anywhere. Why did she choose the Swiss Alps?

At the turn of 2019, the Polish art world was, intellectually, far away from home. In an Alpine pass village, Grażyna Kulczyk launched her private Muzeum Susch. What is this institution? Is it a sign of the success of Polish culture, the representative of which has reached the highest Swiss altitudes? Is it an expression of Poland’s biggest art collector’s disillusionment, who, having turned her back on the general public, headed for the mountains, a place where only true art enthusiasts will venture? Should we view Susch as the whim of a billionaire, or rather the fulfilment of a lifelong dream of a connoisseur, who knows not only art, but also the art world? And why did Kulczyk, out of all places, fancy the Alps?

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