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May 9, 2024
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Anouk Koch’s “No Hospitality Without Accessibility” at EHL Lausanne

At the prestigious Hospitality Business School (EHL) in Lausanne, nestled in the heart of Switzerland's dynamic hospitality landscape, an installation by Lucerne-based artist Anouk Koch is presented by our gallery BØWIE until the end of June. Titled “No Hospitality Without Accessibility,” the installation stands as a bold testament to Anouk Koch’s ongoing exploration of social pressure, abuse of power, and the intricacies of interpersonal relationships. Through this installation, Anouk Koch delves deeply into concepts of privilege and inclusion within the realms of education and luxury service.

Rooted deeply in her personal encounters with powerlessness, Anouk Koch’s works strive to elicit feelings of vulnerability and unrest. Her choice to utilize everyday objects as the foundation for her art is particularly striking. These items, typically perceived as mundane or inexpensive—such as balloons, bricks, or tablecloths—are transformed under Anouk Koch’s touch. By imprinting these objects with text fragments, she creates a tension between their original form and the new content they convey, blurring the lines between everyday function and artistic expression.

Originally introduced as "Gates of Privileges," the installation was renamed to "No Hospitality Without Accessibility" to more accurately reflect its message about the intersections of inclusion and privilege within the hospitality sector. "I wanted to bring something that reacts to the surroundings of EHL," Anouk Koch explains. "The school's atmosphere, enriched by light and space, presented an ideal backdrop for an artwork that invites a rethinking of accessibility in hospitality."

The installation itself is an immersive experience designed to confront and engage. It uses recontextualized objects to form a barrier that physically embodies the societal barriers of exclusivity and privilege. "This circle does not allow for casual passage, compelling viewers to navigate around it, mirroring the exclusions many experience daily," says Anouk Koch. The act of walking around this barrier serves as a metaphor for the obstacles faced by those traditionally marginalized in spaces of power and privilege.

Through her installation, Anouk Koch aims to provoke a dialogue among the EHL community—students destined for influential roles in hospitality—about the roles they will play in shaping inclusive environments. "I hope it can tie a knot between their daily perceptions and the responsibilities they will assume in high-power positions. Accessibility needs to be rethought. Who is being considered and who is being denied access?," Anouk Koch elaborates.

The renaming of the installation to emphasize accessibility underscores a critical aspect of hospitality that extends beyond physical spaces to include social, economic, and political dimensions. Anouk Koch's use of playful yet poignant artistry invites reflection on the hidden dynamics of power within seemingly neutral spaces.

Anouk Koch’s commitment to exploring the interplay of emotion and perception through recontextualized everyday objects brings a hidden poetry to the forefront, challenging viewers to see beyond the surface and consider the deeper implications of their environments.


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