Cornelia Heusser

«Waiting for something»

Silent movements. Delicate tones. Signatures of waiting.

Project proposal by Cornelia Heusser,


I would like to base my project proposal on two earlier works – a performance and a series of drawings – and follow up their thematic issues: On one hand I allude to the work «Teil eins (Part one)» (2011), for which I elaborated a performance for a drummer and a camerawoman about the topic of preconception and separation in particular. The music was formally determining the dramaturgy of the order of events. On the other hand I refer to the work «Aufstehfragmente (fragments of rising)» (2003) in which I documented the weak physical moments of old people, namely when they get up. I developed a series of fragmented drawings, so that the work would be accomplished through the mind of the spectator, almost as an animated sequence.


I suggest to accompany as a drawer several prostitutes of the zurich Langstrasse district during their time in between. while they are waiting for the next customer. My interest lies on their movements, gestures, key-positions and procedures in their streets. How do they fill waiting time? I would draw by my own – and would give them the possibility to draw – their routes, their comrades, too. I would be observing, documenting, collecting, changing moments of movements. Instead of repeating the preconceived images circling about the behavior of prostitutes, I would note the delicate tones of their movements by drawing. It would be a study of their body language while they are not active. So I would only record the moments when they are not sending out clear signals – trying to catch these moments of waiting into drawings.


The intention is to open up preconceptions about stereotypes of how prostitutes behave bringing in the personal behind the function as social agent with a task. My expectations are that the viewers of the drawings would receive the possibility to identify with them as persons – as they would recognize the similarity with their own movements and gestures of while «waiting for something».


I would present my research in form of a performance with music and live-drawing in public space, accompanied by an artist book (magazine). Together with the zurich pop-rock band «A Bang and a Whimper» we would compile a time-based presentation with two overhead projectors. The five members of the band are positioned at different spots in public space around the bloc of Langstrasse – Zwinglistrasse – Kanonengasse – Dienerstrasse. By doing so, they would also invite the passersby to attend the show. Each of the musicians has a spot to decide by themselves, when they want to be in the spotlight and draw the attention on themselves, wearing t-shirts with the drawings from the research. They would play a (fragmented) song – spatially separated – and indicate in this manner the way of reading the performance around the bloc. Two overhead projectors show live drawings of the research – out of memory. They are projected on the wall and the musician at the end of circle. From time to time all musicians would switch positions, exchange their instruments, in order to allow the audience to listen to the song in various delicate tones.

Short Bio

Cornelia Heusser (b. 1979, Switzerland) is a visual artist focused on the practice of drawing, using materials like ink or mixed media. She uses methods of collage, and montage in industrial processes. She is interested in tracing the everyday life.

She lives and works in Zurich and studied Fine Art in Zurich and Rotterdam (MA Fine Art); and Animation Film in Belgium. Her fields of activity cover: stage design, illustration, comic, animation and art. Recent exhibitions are: 2126 meter über meer, a drawing series about the discovery of a house in the avers valley in Switzerland which is home to the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe: Juf; lyrik am fluss, a comic-strip contribution to the index anthology; maiers maierisli, a performative lecture with projected drawings in collaboration with Andreas Heusser presented in the framework of disco, disco, variety at Razzia, Zurich; part one, a performance for a jazz drummer and a camera women, presented at the group exhibition Kunst vor Ort at Pfingstweide, Zurich.
Currently, she is also working on volonté, a graphic novel about the daily life of the first generation of immigrants from Italy.