Focus Longing


A strain in the chest, the insatiable desire for a state that eludes precise description: who doesn’t know the feeling of longing? Photographer Philip Frowein and author André Körner experienced the different places longing can take us to while working on their book project «Archipel»: their interview and photo series invite readers on an adventure journey in the search of the right life. Lecturer and ceramic artist Erika Fankhauser Schürch also followed a vague longing, awakened by the painter Bruno Hesse while she was haymaking as a young girl. Today she creates her own work, with her hands and her head.

Longing also provides the impetus for our own work. Researcher Bernadette Kolonko longed for more diversity in film. Now she is exploring why the same images of women keep being shown in feature films and how they can be prised open. When curator Renate Menzi acquires new furniture for the design collection, she is driven by a longing for completeness: a burning desire to possess an object, the rarer it is. In the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, she often encounters another form of longing: nostalgia. Her exhibits enable visitors to travel back in time for a moment — to their childhood kitchen or their great-grandmother’s living room. The Escher Walk also offers a journey back in time: a web app immerses walkers in the 19th century, right in the heart of Alfred Escher’s Zurich.

Always listening to the same music awakens a longing for new sounds, for the previously unheard. Music lecturer and researcher Jörn Peter Hiekel explains why the longing for the unknown is stimulated in music education. What does longing mean in Chinese? President Thomas D. Meier explains the character Xiăng, which consists of three elements. Together they form the image of a person lying under a tree looking with the heart.

Further contributions on longing

Andrea Zeller was a project manager at ZHdK University Communications.
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