Markus Goessi – Performer and Visual Artist

Markus Goessi was born in Eastern Switzerland, the son of a paralyzed, feminist mother and a social democratic factory worker. First Goessi did an apprenticeship as an optometrist and lived for a long time as a middle-class optician in Central Switzerland. He loved to travel, to dance, photograph and paint.

It was not until he was over 30 years old and attended a independant school of art and design in Lucerne that the final decision came about to make art. Before and during his art studies at the FHBB HGK in Basel, he attended various performance workshops.

Monika Günther's teachings were particularly rich. His lecturer Muda Mathis had a great influence on his work as well. Thanks to the well established networks of the Swiss art academies, he was able to learn and profit from different artists around the country. Hence, the workshops of Stelarc, Monica Klingler, Esther Ferrer, Yan Duyvendak were very formative.

Today Markus Goessi lives and works in Basel.

The presence of the body together with the simplest materials from everyday life fascinated him from the very beginning. For a long time, food and wrapping material were his favourite working tools, which were used both in performance and installation. In 2005 he won the Swiss Performance Art Award. Further invitations followed in Switzerland, Europe, Chile, China, India and Mexico. Some years, he co-curated the performance art series in Kaskadenkondendensator Basel and, among other things, focused on dance from the perspective of a performer.

The most important festivals on his journey were: International Performance Art Giswil, BONE Performance Festival Berne, THE LONGEST DAY Performance Festival Zurich, DEFORMES Primera Bienal de Performance Santiago de Chile, NAVINKI Performance Festival Minsk Belarus, 10th OPEN Performance Art Festival Beijing, MOMENTUM International Performance Festival Brussels Belgium, LIVE ART 2011 Bangalore India, INTERVAL°8 Performance Festival Essen, EXTRA! Festival Internacional de Performance Ciudad de México.

>On the move

The deformation, the transmutation and transformation, the selfie. Goessi likes to stand between things, especially as an image. He likes to blur. He likes it to be real and romantic. What’s no man. Aiming at and nourished by his own biography. Indulging in wastefulness with care. And again and again searching the photo: as a reminder, as a note, as a sketch, as a plan. Over and over again the mirroring.

Foolish, sometimes sublime, or both. Sometimes political and sometimes ironic.


or the emperor's new clothes,

between taking a snapshot and letting it flow.

He does what physics tells him to do.

The absurdity that transforms the power...