Sunday 7th February 2016, 2:00pm
Getaway #13: Linda Pfenninger
Linda Pfenninger chose this Sunday’s getaway destination.*)
– The flat I live in used to belong to Linda. When she opened the door to this flat, (the one I open and close every day now), we met for the first time. Once we got stuck on a train at night. Arriving in Zurich at dawn everything was still shut down, and we crawled underneath the surrounding security fence to escape the main station. We could have searched for a regular exit but without discussing it we agreed that it was way more fun this way.
I know Linda is an artist but I have never seen any of her work. If the kind of art she makes is anything like her, it most probably consists of materials that make you want to touch them and of colourful patterns. And it most probably ignores all sorts of do’s and dont’s. Do’s and don’ts seem to make no impression on her, especially the don’ts of the art world. –
*) Mirjam Bayerdörfer invited Linda Pfenninger for the thirteenth Outside Sunday.
This whole getaway has a biographical note to it: It’s a journey to Linda’s roots. Actually to the roots of Trudi and Willi Suter. Which we literally found.
It’s a story how one woman could marry twice – in the still conservative Zurich of the early 80s – without anyone taking notice. It’s a story about an extra T. One you could not hear but only see when written. From Suter to Sutter.
So it really is a story about roots and relationships, about models of living together, of sharing, of being close and staying sovereign and self-determined at the same time.
Trudi was Linda’s great grandmother. Whenever Linda would passes the Sukkulentensammlung she thinks of Trudi and the extra T. When her first husband Willi Suter [wi:lli sµ:ttℨª] died Trudi married Willy Sutter [wi:lli sµ:ttℨª], whom she had been working for at a flower shop. The second Willi Sutter was involved in the association /board of the Sukkulentensammlung. This is why the Sukkulentensammlung comes in. Another reason is the short and stiff figure / bodytype of the second Willy Sutter, which somehow resembles / makes you think of a succulent. So Trudi Suter [trµ:di sµ:ttℨª] stayed Trudi Suter [trµ:di sµ:ttℨª] – or became Trudi Sutter [trµ:di sµ:ttℨª] – and continued to live in her own flat. The second Willi Sutter lived in his own flat in the same house.
Imagining Trudi I see a strong old woman, even if Linda describes her appearance as soft. I am impressed by Trudi’s clarity and decisiveness : by the clarity of how to juggle conventions and your own grown ideas of what you want a relationship to be like.
A visit to the Sukkulentensammlung is simply enjoyable: the delicate structures and colour gradients, the round swelling forms, the alien surfaces. The wide sculptural range of the organic plant material is mind boggling.
The different consistencies of the air make you wonder which types of organisms enjoy the same atmosphere. Do you like it dry and cold or humid and warm? And which soil quality?
After wandering around and touching everything (You would not imagine that a surrounding full of cactus – spikes and spines and prickles – prompts everybody to start touching. It did. ) we found Trudi and Willi: A delicate, soft, long limbed succulent next to a rigid, short, broad one. They were situated close to each other but on their own: They had kept two separate plant pots. It seemed a very wise decision.