Marcel Hörler


Marcel Hörler (he/him, b. 1988 in Herisau, lives in Zurich) is a curator and cultural mediator. He was socialized in a nuclear family of the working class, in provincial circumstances, as the white son of a housewife and florist and a truck driver. After a vocational training, he dedicated himself to the study of social work with a specialization in socioculture at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Arts and worked for several years in various social work fields. In 2021 he completed a Master of Arts in Art Education, Curatorial Studies at the Zurich University of the Arts. Since 2015 he has been realizing art and culture projects.

Marcel Hörler is co-director/co-founder of Dogo Residenz, co-director of Blickfelder Festival, co-founder/operator of HOX - Plattform für kritische Betrachtungen and part of the Baby Angel collective.


"Throughout my body of work, I am interested in fundamental questions of living together: How do we shape a self-determined life? Who makes the rules? How do we become what we are? By bringing together a wide variety of artistic positions, I make aesthetic practices visible and thereby enable critical thinking about dominant mechanisms and structures as part of existing systems. By sharpening the view for marginalized experiences that move outside of cultural and social norms, I question current conditions."

"In the design of my projects, which I locate in a social practice, I develop a terrain of polyphony, where vulnerabilities and moments of failure have their place. Self-organized spaces, collaborative ways of working, site-specific interventions and contact zones form important spaces of action for me."


Frida, 2023 – 2028

How did time feel back then? Did a second last longer in the past than it does today? Who do we listen to in order to understand what happened? And how can we put ourselves in a time when the witnesses have already fallen silent? Frida Edelmann-Knöpfel, who lived in Lichtensteig from 1864-1921, was a curious and attentive observer of her time. Counteracting the escape of time, Frida wrote down her everyday experiences in dialect, thus giving posterity the opportunity to penetrate her world of thoughts. She wrote about her mother's hardships, her relationship with her husband, her children, and life in the small town, and was thus one of the few women of her time whose writings have been handed down. As a tribute to Frida, the artists Karin Karinna Bühler, Martina Morger, Reto Müller, Lika Nüssli and Thomas Stüssi have created new works inspired by Frida's memories. The exhibition opened on 7 July 2023. The works will be displayed in the "public space" of the municipality of Lichtensteig for up to five years. Frida was curated by Marcel Hörler with the support of Maura Kressig and Jost Kirchgraber.

Martina Morger, Bella Bells, 2023. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Lika Nüssli, Frida, kleine Rebellin, 2023. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Thomas Stüssi, Kurze Hosen aber grosses Herz, 2023. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Rundgang mit Austausch. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Karin Karinna Bühler, Nicht um mein flüchtig Gut der Zeit, 2023. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Lika Nüssli, Frida, kleine Rebellin, 2023. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Reto Müller (Text: Vincent Hofmann), Tafel-Moränensteine-Säule für Lichtensteig, 2023. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Reto Müller, Tafel-Moränensteine-Säule für Lichtensteig, 2023. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Reto Müller, Tafel-Moränensteine-Säule für Lichtensteig, 2023. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Lika Nüssli, Frida, kleine Rebellin, 2023. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Martina Morger, Bella Bells, 2023. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Powerplay, Pleasure and Gain, 2022

How can we materialize joy? To what extent can we recognize and vocalize our desires and needs within power structures? How can we cultivate a practice of care while society suffers from hetero-patriarchal mechanisms? The exhibition Powerplay, Pleasure and Gain presented a mix of contributions by Giulia Essyad, Inés Maestre, Lucio Davoli, Marisabel Arias, Metehan Törer, Robin Mettler, Sarah Burger and Sicc Puppy. The exhibition took the 10th anniversary of Porny Days as an occasion to think about the potential of collectivity that lies in our bodies. Beside the exhibited works, the audience was invited to become part of the exhibition during the performative opening. Powerplay, Pleasure and Gain took place from 25th to 27th of November 2022 at Südbühne, Gessnerallee in Zürich and was curated by Marcel Hörler with the support of Lena Aurea Schneider.

Metehan Törer, pee fountain, 2022. Photo: Michel Gilgen

Metehan Törer, spank toys, 2022. Photo: Michel Gilgen

Inés Maestre, Vanilla Tango (Untitled V), 2022. Photo: Michel Gilgen

Metehan Törer, i lock my pet in the toilet, 2022. Photo: Michel Gilgen

Sarah Burger, Neural Fantasies, 2022. Photo: Lena Aurea Schneider

Metehan Törer, siamese twin mask, 2022. Photo: Michel Gilgen

Inés Maestre, Vanilla Tango (Untitled III), 2020. Photo: Michel Gilgen

Giulia Essyad, Self Portraits, 2021. Photo: Lena Aurea Schneider

Robin Mettler, Endless Ornament, 2022. Photo: Michel Gilgen

Metehan Törer, Lucio Davoli, Sicc Puppy, Public Toilet, 2022. Photo: Michel Gilgen

Metehan Törer, Lucio Davoli, Sicc Puppy, Public Toilet, 2022. Photo: Michel Gilgen

Metehan Törer, Lucio Davoli, Sicc Puppy, Public Toilet, 2022. Photo: Michel Gilgen

Ufficio della Notte, 2022

Pleasure – the sharing of joy – affects and connects people. Although certain practices, especially those that conform to non-normative, queer, non-monogamous and non-binary lives, have always been marginalised, criminalised or at least ignored by the institutions of power. Nevertheless the figures of the night have broken the limits of society’s decency. What still remains are questions: Where and how do we talk about pleasure? Which spaces are claimed and by whom? Are safe(r) spaces only dreams of a hidden utopia? To which extent do institutions determine what is sexually allowed/not allowed? And what does all this have to do with care work? In search of answers, Ufficio della Notte presented works by Berlin Strippers Collective, Gilles Smrkovsky, Philipp Gufler, Benjamin Egger, Oz Oderbolz, Latefa Wiersch, Florian Hetz, Dario Callerame, Jeanne Jacob, Alina Kopytsa, SLOCH, Göksu Kunak and DIVAS that were shown in six different art spaces and clubs as well as in public spaces (Last Tango, Parat, Limmatplatz, Unterführung Langstrasse, Die Diele, Baby Angel, BosqueRreal, Rote Fabrik). The exhibition, curated by neo seefried and Marcel Hörler, took place from 23rd September to 15th of October 2022 in Zurich and was combined with walks, a pleasure positive party and a panel on the topic of Sexwork.

Göksu Kunak, Niche I: Landscape, 2022. Photo: Sabina Bösch

DIVAS, TOUCHING (IS ELECTRIC), 2019. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Berlin Strippers Collective (Ivy & Maxine), Red light to daylight, 2022. Photo: Johanna Hullár

Oz Oderbolz, untitled or I stole my father's belt, 2022. Photo: Oz Oderbolz

Latefa Wiersch, Unterführung/Subway, 2022. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Gilles Smrkovsky, Collective Desire, 2020. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Benjamin Egger, And Then We Touch, 2021/2022. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Benjamin Egger, And Then We Touch, 2021/2022. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Philipp Gufler, Lana Kaiser, 2020. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Philipp Gufler, Quilt #36 (Der Kreis), 2020. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Dario Callerame, Growing Witness II, 2021. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Jeanne Jacob, Falling in Love, 2022. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Jeanne Jacob, Les Adelphes, 2022. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Florian Hetz, SPECIES, 2022. Photo: Livio Baumgartner

Alina Kopytsa, From Zurich with love, 2021. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Sexwork is Work! Photo: Johanna Hullár

Exhibition Walks mit neo seefried. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Performing Soil, 2021

We can never know what we will find – when we dig a hole... Earth is a filter, an archive, provides livelihoods, and is an arena for interspecies exchange. Interdependencies, or mutual dependencies, are intrinsic to the earth. Thus Performing Soil is dedicated to those moments of tension in this terrain that arise apart from conventional scientific methods. They assume that projects can be scaled, i.e. that they can function on a small scale as well as on a large one, but they disregard the fact that the actors can change through encounters. The idea to Performing Soil comes from the artists Silke kleine Kalvelage, Jan Georg Glöckner and the curator/cultural mediator Marcel Hörler. Over a period of three months, surrounded by a nature preserve, they collaborated with dancers, artists, craftspeople, and scientists Lisa Lee Benjamin, Marisa Mayer, Xaver Ammann, Kay Zhang, Brigham Baker, Titilayo Adebayo, Reut Nahum, and Rosa Zettl to shape a massive globe. The globe was - in the context of the first exhibition at Kunstraum parat - auctioned off and together with three radio shows, the photo documentation and other small-format soil exhibits presented between 9th to 18th of December 2021 to the public.

Performing Soil, Session 3. Photo: Silke kleine Kalvelage

Performing Soil, Session 1. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Performing Soil, Session 2. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Performing Soil, Session 2. Photo: Silke kleine Kalvelage

Performing Soil, Session 2. Photo: Silke kleine Kalvelage

Performing Soil, Session 2. Photo: Silke kleine Kalvelage

Performing Soil, 2021. Photo: Silke kleine Kalvelage

Passagen, 2021

The exhibition Passagen was dedicated to transitions as constant companions of people. It took place from September 10 to October 2, 2021 in the church St. Jakob in Zurich. The exhibition focused on the question of how transitions can be coped, working with photography, storytelling and arrangements of personal things. The sacral building functioned as an exhibition and reflection space, as a sound body and as a place of critical questioning. The basis for Passagen was formed by several meetings of the eight protagonists Beat Schwab, Chaowei Arakawa, Emanuel Hohl, Edwin Arsenio Ramirez Garcia, Heidi Stamm, Maria Hardt, Noah Di Bettschen and Yeter Tayet, as well as individual sound recordings, which came together in an expansive audio installation. The idea and concept were developed by Marcel Hörler and Sabina Bösch, following an invitation from About Us! and the Reformed Church of Zurich. In addition, the following people were involved in the project: Julian Zehnder (audio), Maria Muster (textile), Maria Peskina (graphic design), neo seefried (text), Gilles Smrkovsky (editing). Part of the program was also an audience discussion, a sound performance between Kay Zhang, Nuriia Khasenova, Léo Collin (KIT) and Sacha Rüegg and a performance by Elischa Heller.

Passagen Vernissage. Photo: Lea Huser

Passagen Vernissage. Photo: Lea Huser

Performance Kay Zhang, Léo Collin, Nuriia Khasenova (KIT) & Sacha Rüegg. Photo: Lea Huser

Protagonistin Chaowei Arakawa. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Performance Kay Zhang, Léo Collin, Nuriia Khasenova (KIT) & Sacha Rüegg. Photo: Lea Huser

Protagonist Noah Di Bettschen. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Performance Elischa Heller. Photo: Mischa Schlegel

Objekt Emanuel Hohl. Photo: Sabina Bösch

Performance Elischa Heller. Photo: Mischa Schlegel

Seemingly Unfinished, 2021

Seemingly Unfinished shed light on the beauty of the thin line that lies between the unfinished and the finished. The Roman author Pliny the Elder had already started reflecting on the concept of the unfinishedness, in his Natural History Book 35, by pointing out that unfinished works were highly appreciated because they offered more explicit information on the artists’ creative process and techniques. The exhibition presented seven works from paintings, sculptures, installations to embroidery by Fabio Guida, Laetitia Pascalin, Patrick Ostrowsky, Pascal Sidler, Sara Lavelle, Mickry 3 and Andrea Vera Wenger and allowed to investigate the artists’ intentions and their receptions on the audience as well as discuss social, psychological and philosophical aspects with the realm of contemporary art. The exhibition was divided in three successive groups (On Transparency, Under Construction and The Absence of Painting), that allowed to focus on different ways of questioning its topic. All combined granted the audience tools to decipher the complexity of an unfinished aesthetic in completed artworks. Seemingly Unfinished took place from 12th March to 2nd April 2021 at Kulturfolger in Zürich and was curated by Marcel Hörler and Michael Almeida.

Mickry 3, Do Not Enter, 2021. Photo: Andrea Vera Wenger

Sara Lavelle, Self-Portrait Minnesota Fall, 2016. Photo: Andrea Vera Wenger

Andrea Vera Wenger, Sibling, 2021

Pascal Sidler, Spiegelbild, 2019. Photo: Andrea Vera Wenger

Fabio Guida, Untitled, 2019. Photo: Andrea Vera Wenger

Patrick Ostrowsky, it makes me feel giddy, 2020. Photo: Andrea Vera Wenger

Laetitia Pascalin, Untitled, 2020. Photo: Andrea Vera Wenger

Hox, 2020 –

Hox is a magazine for critical reflections on human-animal relations. Various artistic text and image contributions explore the question of what a shared future of humans and other animals should look like and what obstacles, fears and opportunities can be in this relationship. In October 2020, Hox No. 1 was published on an organic farm in the periphery of the Canton of Zurich by the publishers - Valérie Hug, Jakob Lienhard and Marcel Hörler. The magazine brings together artistic, aesthetic as well as analytical and scientific image and text contributions, combines in editorial terms call for papers and curation and sets a focus per issue. A complexly layered construct of subtopics is placed within an experimental design framework that allows the content to speak for itself. At the forefront of Hox is: the process of publishing, the process of designing, the process of understanding.

HOX No. 2. Photo: Fabienne Watzke

HOX No. 2. Photo: Fabienne Watzke

Noëmi Ceresola, Anthropornography 2.0., 2021. Photo: Fabienne Watzke

Leppyyyyy, 2021. Photo: Fabienne Watzke

Chi Him Chik, Performance. Photo: Fabienne Watzke

HOX No. 1. Photo: Mischa Schlegel

HOX No. 1. Photo: Mischa Schlegel

Jessica Jurassica, Claude Bühler, Im Zeichen des Hahns, 2020. Photo: Mischa Schlegel

Vee, 2020

Transformations have always been part of cultural practices that fascinate and disturb at the same time. A living being that suddenly stops, apparently destroys itself and rises again as a completely new creature. From the privileged deities of the pre-Christian polytheistic religions to fantastic hybrid beings - half human, half animal - from legends, fairy tales and fantasy to complex metamorphosis images and stories in literature, the relationship between humans and animals is a frequently treated topic. In the wake of recent technological and medical advances, which make it possible to change bodies and exchange organs between humans and animals, or to breed human cells in animals, questions about a common future of humans and animals a new urgency. For the exhibition Vee (May 23rd to October 3rd, 2020) Badel/Sarbach, Benjamin Egger, Ernestyna Orlowska, Fridolin Schoch, Ina Weise and Patrick Ostrowsky made installative, sculptural and performative interventions on the agricultural farm Hof Blum in Samstagern. Performances, screenings and shows by Daniela Ehrsam, Ivy Monteiro, Maya Rochat and Soya The Cow accompanied the opening and the closing. Community, Body and Transformation were among the thematic focuses of the exhibition. Furthermore the exhibition was extended by farm talks with guests Antoine F. Goetschel, Viviane Ehrensberger, Jacques Fuchs and Hans Preisig and mimicry workshops, designed by Julia Wäckerlin and Pia Schwarz. Vee was created in collaboration with Jakob Lienhard, Valérie Hug and Martin Blum.

Vernissage. Photo: Stefan Tschumi

Patrick Ostrowsky, FIRE SIGHT, 2020. Photo: Stefan Tschumi

Daniela Ehrsam, Aerial Hoop Show. Photo: Stefan Tschumi

Soya The Cow, My joy, my choice, my juices, 2020. Photo: Stefan Tschumi

Benjamin Egger, my body is because of dogs, 2020. Photo: Benjamin Egger

Badel/Sarbach, Hotties in the Neighborhood, 2020. Photo: Mischa Schlegel

Ernestyna Orlowska, I’ve Been Feeling It Too (Chicken Farm Version), 2020. Photo: Stefan Tschumi

Ernestyna Orlowska, Nursing Tops & Mum Utility Pants, 2020. Photo: Mischa Schlegel
Fridolin Schoch, Knot Gathering, 2020. Photo: Stefan Tschumi

Ina Weise, 0,000005483149859%, 2020. Photo: Mischa Schlegel

Ivy Monteiro, Tituba.2Point.OH!, 2020. Photo: Mischa Schlegel

Plateaux Festival, 2019

Sustainability is no longer just a question of ecological circumstances such as climate change, geographical particularities or agricultural technologies but a question of production and consumption. Between April 20th and September 7th, 2019, the Plateaux Festival invited artists to discuss sustainability issues and solutions within the framework of the ecological farm Froh Ussicht in Samstagern, in the periphery of Zurich. In addition, guests were invited to take up the theme of the festival with a Carte Blanche, in order tackle curated performances, film evenings, installations and actions with unexpected ideas. The festival was designed by Marcel Hörler and Mateo Chacon-Pino. Design and code: Lydia Perrot and Lisa Li. Following an invitation by Martin Blum. The art mediation program was designed by Seline Fülscher. With artistic contributions by Artist Organizations International, Aurélie Strumans, Carina Erdmann & Anna Kindermann, Johanna Bruckner, Johanna Kotlaris, Martina Mächler, Matthew C. Wilson, Nino Baumgartner, San Keller, Simon Würsten Marin, Thomas Geiger and Yael Wicki. Guests included Bergkrautsyndikat, Kunsthaus Aussersihl, Kunst Du, Wagner & Friends with Carlos Fernández and Violeta Burckhard Razeto.

Johanna Kotlaris, Economies, 2019. Photo: Samirah Hohl

Song Book, San Keller, 2019. Photo: Alicia Olmos Ochoa

Aurélie Strumans, Green verticality to a red fiction, 2019. Photo: Alicia Olmos Ochoa

Nino Baumgartner, Shortcut, 2019. Photo: Alicia Olmos Ochoa

Carlos Fernández, Do Some Agrofit, 2019. Photo: Juliette Chretien

Thomas Geiger, I Want To Become a Millionaire Talks, 2019. Photo: Sandino Scheidegger

Kunsthaus Aussersihl, Aktion 016: im Gjätt, 2019. Photo: Marcel Hörler

Johanna Bruckner, Körper ohne Währung, 2019. Photo: Samirah Hohl

Simon Würsten Marín, Wenn Kunst Landschaft gestaltet, 2019. Photo: Samirah Hohl

Dogo Residenz, 2019 –

Dogo Residenz is dedicated to artistic development, mediation and production of contemporary art. The residency was founded in 2019 and is located at the Rathaus für Kultur in Lichtensteig, St. Gallen. Dogo is organised as an art association and offers artists the opportunity to develop professionally during their stays. Artistic processes, as well as the resulting works are documented in the public online archive. Dogo organises different mediation formats such as events, open studios or discussions. A further component of Dogo is art mediation, which includes a workshops and projects with schools. The year is always rounded off with Dogo Totale, the annual exhibition in November. Dogo was initiated by Hanes Sturzenegger, Julia Wäckerlin, Marcel Hörler, Maura Kressig and Sirkka Ammann.

Rathaus für Kultur. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Rathaus für Kultur. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Sonja Hornung, Sperre II, 2019. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Patrick Ostrowsky, BURNING!, 2019. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Weiter, 2017

While the tourist takes the gondola lift to the summit and a refugee leaves his home, the digital nomad works somewhere on his boat. Never before has mobility manifested itself in so many ways as it does today. Spatial, social and virtual mobility has become the basic principle of a global and networked world. Anyone who is mobile is receptive - open to something new, perhaps better. Mobility also demands mental and physical mobility from people. On the one hand, it breaks down social structures and, on the other, reinforces the perception of existing, unequal preconditions. The broad concept of mobility was the focus of Weiter. As part of Weiter, Christian Eberhard, Collectif Chuglu, Damiano Curschellas, Gisa Frank, Lino Bally, Flurina Brügger, Iris Brodbeck, Marc Jenny, Matthias Rüegg and Robin Michel developed works en route. From September 9th to 23rd, 2017 they presented their works at three different traffic junctions in the lower, middle and upper Toggenburg. The exhibition was a co-production between Kunsthalle[n] Toggenburg and Arthur Junior.

Gisa Frank, Iifahre – Usfahre, 2017. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Robin Michel, Ferrari, 2017. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Flurina Brügger, Iris Brodbeck, Gesprächsteppich, 2017. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Collectif Chuglu, Immense comme un detail, 2017. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Matthias Rüegg, Please Wait Over There, 2017. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Water Walling, Collectif Chuglu, 2017. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Marc Jenny. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Gisa Frank, Iifahre – Usfahre, 2017. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger
Matthias Rüegg, Ignore, 2017. Photo: Matthias Rüegg
Matthias Rüegg, You're Completely Wrong, 2017. Photo: Matthias Rüegg
Christian Eberhard, 2017. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Imagine Rhythm, 2017

Imagine Rhythm used the expressiveness of dancing and filmmaking to overcome cultural and linguistic obstacles. A group of deaf and hearing dancers from Armenia, Switzerland and Germany created a dance performance during ten days together with the choreographers Melanie Alexander and Hayk Hobosyan and showed it in public space in the city of Zurich in August 2017. Through a self-empowering approach, the dancers could create their own body movements, make use of their skills and transform it into a contemporary dance performance. The whole activity was filmed on site by a group of filmmakers in collaboration with documentary filmmaker, producer Seg Kirakossian in order to document the learning process. The project was designed also for engaging the participants in social life and giving them knowledge on how they can implement social initiatives in the future. Besides the dance workshop, a group discussion was held, with a focus on the problems and needs of people with hearing problems to promote awareness about the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The project was designed by Marcel Hörler and Seg Kirakossian in collaboration between Subkult and Doctor Cinema NGO.

Photo: Stefan Tschumi

Photo: Seg Kirakossian

Photo: Stefan Tschumi

Photo: Stefan Tschumi

Performance. Photo: Stefan Tschumi

Photo: Stefan Tschumi

Shopping, 2016

Catherine Xu, Samuel Koch, Nina Emge, Lucie Biloshytskyy, James Stephen Wright, Domingo Chaves, Edmée Laurin, Fridolin Schoch and Martina Mächler received six orange envelopes on 9 July 2016. Six thousand Swiss francs in thousand notes - the most valuable banknote in the world. The artists had the task of spending all the money on Obere Bahnhofstrasse, the shopping street of Wil. The works that were presented to the public from July 30th to August 13th, 2016 and were created from the purchased goods. Shopping dealt with a theme that has always moved society and the art world. We want it, we love it and we do it. From young to old. Whether conscious, ecological or wasteful. We shop, we choose and shopping should be fun, or not?! That's why the cross-media art project treated consumption as a act of life and asked questions. Questions about the commodity art, artistic work and investment in general. The artistic processes were documented and part of the exhibition, which was initiated by Arthur Junior and the City of Wil in collaboration with the graphic design studio Badesaison.

Fridolin Schoch, Edmée Laurin, Fridolin Schoch, Limited Time Offer, 2016. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Graphic Design, Badesaison, 2019. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Lucie Biloshitskyy, papier. wert. papier, 2017. Photo: Lea Huser

James Stephen Wright, Argent, 2017. Photo: Lea Huser

Limited Time Offer, Domingo Chaves, Edmée Laurin, Fridolin Schoch, 2017. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Catherine Xu, 2017. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Martina Mächler, 100%@work / do what you love, 2016. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger

Domingo Chaves, Edmée Laurin, Fridolin Schoch, Limited Time Offer, 2017. Photo: Hanes Sturzenegger