Discover Germany, Issue 60, March 2018

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Culture Highlights Switzerland – Top Cultural Offerings 2018

Experiencing the world of witches, magic and crazy cures Since 2009, the Hexenmuseum Schweiz – the museum of witchcraft in Switzerland – lets visitors discover all areas of witchcraft: the history of traditions, magic spells and much more. With over 1,000 objects about the subject, it is the only museum of its kind in the German-speaking part of Europe. This spring, the museum has moved to the castle Liebegg in Graenichen, AG. TEXT: INA FRANK  I  PHOTOS: HEXENMUSEUM SCHWEIZ

Lightning stones and dragon tongues, what might that be? Why are mistletoes useful when one feels dizzy? And why do many people think that black cats bring misfortune? The museum of witchcraft can answer all of these questions. The exhibition presents the trials against witches in Switzerland and all over Europe, the impacts of those on modern times and the history of superstition. Myths are explained, as well as the use of amulets and medicinal plants. Another part of the exhibition deals with aspects like tarot cards, astrology, crystal balls and reading coffee grounds. The roots of customs can be discovered as well. Many

traditions are cultivated until today, but often people do not know where these traditions come from. For example, do

you know what the real reason behind toasting with glasses is? The museum of witchcraft is open on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and on every first and third Sunday of the month from 2 to 6pm, and in nights of a full moon from 8pm until midnight. Children are allowed to enter aged eleven and older.

Left: A part of the section ‘Modern witches’, with ritual items from Cornwall. Middle: The entrance of the museum of witchcraft. Right: The tarot artist Elisabeth Alba has created and painted a tarot card specifically for the museum of witchcraft. Photo: © Elisabeth Alba

Bringing art into society with exhibitions that touch upon contemporary problems The museum and art gallery Kunsthaus Baselland, a unique building with industrial architecture, organises group shows factoring in contemporary social discourses and questions in art, as well as solo exhibitions. As a place of inspiration it brings together local and international artists. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: KUNSTHAUS BASELLAND

“I think it is important to not only use the potential of a place, city or region, but to truly promote it,“ says Ines Goldbach, Kunsthaus Baselland’s director. “In regularly presenting local and international artists of different ages in joint exhibitions, artists clash and thus challenge and encourage each other.” Kunsthaus Baselland enables a dialogue between very different artists, inspiring not only the local art scene but spreading ideas into the world. For Ines Goldbach it is important to bring a younger generation into contact with art, Kunsthaus Baselland for example 32  |  Issue 60  |  March 2018

cooperates with local universities and schools. “We often forget that art not only makes a rainy Sunday more substantial, but that the interaction with art – in its novelty, in questioning present times with all its relevant topics, in irritating, in opening up

Ines Goldbach, Kunsthaus Baselland’s director. Photo: Nils Fisch

new ways of thinking – can give answers and be an inspiration for everyday life,” explains Goldbach. At the moment, the Basel based artist Esther Hunziker shows in her exhibition, how social media instead of creating a community often leads to isolation and loss of identity. In future, Ines Goldbach hopes more groups and companies will also hold meetings in the Kunsthaus Baselland, surrounded and inspired by art.