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Show RCA 2019

Céline Manz

Show RCA work

Major project:

fold; (body of work)

The immersive installation fold; is based on long-term research into the effects that copyrights have on the circulation of cultural heritage. It is a follow-up to Manz's project Rythme sans fin. Building on Walter Benjamin’s idea of the reactivation of artworks, she aims to quote cultural artefacts and their makers back into existence through the means of visibility.

The project consists of several elements; case studies based on the example of Sophie Taeuber-Arp, a multidisciplinary Swiss Avant-Garde artist who, for the 70 years following her death (id est until her copyrights expired), was exceptionally difficult to research.

The work evolves around archival material – letters Taeuber wrote to her husband – and extracts of her oeuvre. These two elements are presented in an installation that juxtaposes various media ranging from text, performance, fabrics and sound. Manz is notably interested in examining the nuances between 'being inspired by‘, copying and re-enacting, and which of these methods is the most effective for re-activating Sophie Taeuber‘s voice in a contemporary context.

The title fold; refers to the folds in the letters and the folds created by draping fabrics. It is also a concept; as a verb, fold; refers to Manz’s practice of superimposing and layering elements with the aim to create a new image.

The project is based on various multidisciplinary dialogues. It includes contributions by Jakob Warmenbol ('fold; Rhythmic Sound Patterns'), Laura Lienhard ('fold; The Letters - Dadaist Lecture‘),  Leo Silkeberg William-Olsson & Amina Seid Tahir ('fold; Rean-Actors‘). With a special thanks to Jules Estèves, the Zurich Central Library, Emmeli Person from Index Contemporary Art Foundation in Stockholm, Claire Hoffmann from the Centre Cultural Suisse in Paris, as well as Andreas Schneitter.


  • Céline Manz (1981, CH) is a research-based artist. Her work takes a critical view on authorship, appropriation and the problems caused by copyright restrictions in times of digital access. Her initial explorations centred around the question– 'Who owns the artwork?' – from the artist's point of view, while her more recent work shifts to focus on the broader context of copyright restrictions' impact on cultural heritage. Manz was educated as a bookseller and studied photography in Switzerland before she graduated from the Photography Department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam in 2013.

    Her BA-graduation work was nominated for the Gerrit Rietveld Award (NL), the Gogbot Award (NL) and the Prix Photoforum (CH) and was internationally featured in print and online media. Since then, she has been awarded the 3Package Deal by the Amsterdam fonds for the Arts (NL), a grant of the City of Basel, was artist in residence at the Cité internationale des Arts Paris. Her work has featured in various solo and group shows, among others in Kunsthalle Basel (CH), de Appel Arts Centre Amsterdam (NL), Museum for Contemporary Art Erarta in St Petersburg (RU), Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art Rotterdam (NL),  Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam (NL), Kunsthaus Langenthal (CH) and the Photoforum Pasquart in Bienne (CH). 

    Since 2014, she has run STUDIO 47, an experimental research platform for artistic practices concerned with appropriation, and publishes artist multiples as STUDIO 47 PRESS. In 2017 she was longlisted for the Prix de Rome (NL), and her project 'Rythme sans fin' was featured in 'The London Open 2018‘ at the Whitechapel Gallery in London (UK). Also in 2018, she was part of the pilot campaign of 'Free Art Now', a project that showcased art on advertising pillars and posters all over the city centre of Amsterdam. Her graduation project fold; premiered in the travelling music, sound art and philosophy conference 'Regenerative Feedback' at Worm in Rotterdam in May 2019.

  • Sponsors

  • Kunstkredit Basel-Stadt; Patronagefonds for young Swiss artists Basel
Royal College of Art