07.06 - 04.08.2024

ProtoZone 15


Queer Bay Day

16.08 - 01.09.2024



Long Night of the Museums

13.09 - 03.11.2024

ProtoZone 16

15.11 - 12.01.2025

ProtoZone 17


The Institute for embodied creative practices


The Institute for Embodied Creative Practices is an ambulatory corpus of particular concerns and the sensorial methodologies for addressing them founded by artist and choreographer Isabel Lewis. The idea of a research center imagined as a fictional institute called “The Institute for Embodied Creative Practices” was originally conceived by Lewis in 2016 as her response to an invitation for a solo exhibition at the Ming Contemporary Art Museum in Shanghai that never happened. Lewis has since been modelling the Institute under various names and different formats, most recently a 3-room installation with an 8-week program of workshops, talks, screenings, and contemporary tea ceremonies at Gropius Bau as part of the exhibition entitled Welt Ohne Aussen, as free once-per-month 4-hour sessions with guest artists at her studio in Callie’s Berlin as well as Galerie Wedding’s Movement Research Center, and since 2021 at HGB Leipzig. Considered a continuous work-in-process and extension of her studio practice the experimental Institute and research center reimagines the format of “institution” and speculates what a cultural/educational institution of the future can and could be. The Institute focuses primarily on the analysis and adaptation of existing formats as well as the creation of new formats for public addressal and experience. It works toward innovation on the structural, organizational and sensory levels in order to make fertile ground for the emergence of new forms of cultural production, reflection, and critique. Key collaborators over the years have been tea artist Dambi Kim, smell researcher Sissel Tolaas, visual artists Dirk Bell and Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, curator and DJ Lou Drago, sound artists LABOUR and artists/directors Thea Reifler and Philipp Bergmann.


The Institute for Embodied Creative Practices at Shedhalle is co-hosted by Isabel Lewis together with artists Josephine Baan, Nina Emge, Izidora l LETHE, Ceylan Öztrük, Tyra Wigg and international academies. (more info on program and participation coming soon)


The Institute of Embodied Creative Practices is supported by Kanton Zürich Fachstelle Kultur


Isabel Lewis, born in Santo Domingo in 1981, is a US artist with Dominican roots. She studied literature, dance and philosophy and is now active in theater, dance and music. Her work expanded the field of contemporary art to include the format of Occasions. With persistent experimentation and research methods that emerge from bodily experiences, Lewis creates alternative forms of sociality between human and non-human actors. The artist’s body of work to date includes the formats Occurrences, Arrangements, Activations, Expanded Viewings, Sensory Parcours, as well as workshops, listening sessions, and lecture performances. The focus of her fundamentally collaborative practice is on affective bodily experiences that engage all the senses. Her work has been shown in numerous museums as well as biennials and festivals worldwide: Martin Gropius Bau Berlin, Tanz im August Berlin, Kampnagel Hamburg, Kunsthalle Basel, Kunsthalle Zürich, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Tate Modern, Liverpool Biennial, Serpentine Galleries, Palais de Tokyo, Dia Art Foundation, Sharjah Biennial, Karachi Biennial, Ming Contemporary Art Museum Shanghai.


In 2021, she began her long-term collaboration with TBA21 Academy, creating the work “O.C.E.A.N.I.C.A. (Occasions Creating Ecologically Attuned Narratives in Collective Action)” at Ocean Space Venice. That same year, she co-curated the twelve-month program “Existing Otherwise” at Berlin’s Galerie Wedding. Isabel Lewis lives and works in Berlin. She already succeeded Alba D’Urbano in the winter semester 2021/22 in the media art program and is the first professor for performative arts at HGB Leipzig.


Josephine Baan (also goes by the names Joseph, Jo, or any variation thereof) is an artist and educator based between Zurich and Rotterdam. Their practice engages in art, education and collaboration as ways to forge creative resurgence. They’re interested in the complexities of collectivity and in the possibility of establishing a solidarity that does not homogenise, but affirms difference.

They perform with their body and voice, and make installations, props, scripts and choreographies that explore the spaces and relationships between the flesh and the word, human and non-human bodies, and change and preservation. Materially and performatively thinking between things, beings and situations, they consciously switch perspective to influence roles and readings of power and control in relation to affection and gestures of care.

Their practice is closely linked to their work as an educator, which is influenced by radical pedagogy and non-hierarchical collaborative methods. They are a founding member of Rotterdam based educational collective sohere, and since 2019 they co-run Zurich based School of Commons; a grassroots initiative dedicated to the study and development of decentered knowledge, with a focus on practices of peer learning and commoning. Their current research engages in developing a performance-based pedagogy which incorporates embodied learning, incoherence, and queerness as tools for collective worlding.

They obtained their MFA at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2015. They are a resident of the ENOA Immersive Opera residency 2021-2022 and a recipient of the Werkbeitrag Fachstelle Kultur prize of the province of Zürich 2021. Recent exhibitions and performances include; Burner at LIFE, Rotterdam (2022); Weathering at Titanik Galleria in Turku (2021); Werkschau at Haus Konstruktiv in Zürich (2021); Weathering at SIC in Helsinki (2021); The Opposite of a Cynic [Tongue] at Nieuw & Meer in Amsterdam (2020); inter:archive at OnCurating in Zürich (2020); Here Not Here at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin (2019); MOTH at Museum KKLB in Beromünster (2018 – 2019); A Brief History of Becoming Rock at Art Rotterdam in Rotterdam (2018); Nothing 2 C Here at Alkovi Galleria in Helsinki (2017).


Nina Emge was born 1995 in Zurich. Today she lives and works in Zurich and Berlin. In Emge’s artistic practice, the question “How do we listen to each other? To whom am I listening?” is raised in every work. These questions result in spatial installations, sculptures and audio works. The focus is on the moment of interface/overlap. This is evident, among other things, in her research and archive work, drawings, as well as in the often collaborative working and creation processes of the works. Nina Emge studied at the Zurich University of the Arts, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree with distinction in 2019. The works have been shown at the Halle für Kunst Lüneburg, Uferhallen Berlin, Istituto Svizzero in Roma, La Becque, Shedhalle Zurich, Kunsthalle Zurich, Helmhaus Zurich and other national and international exhibition spaces.


Izidora I LETHE is a transdisciplinary and conceptual artist. Their practice spans choreography, sculpture and video accompanied by correspondent drawing and writing processes. Their research-based work aims at expanding or eroding canonical histories and situating the body as epistemological orientation.

LETHE received their MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI, 2015-2017) and their BFA at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK, 2010-2013). Their most recent exhibitions include COURONNE (Biel) (2022), SHEDHALLE (ZH, CH) (2021), Cabaret Voltaire on Monte Verità (TI, CH) (2021), the Leslie Lohman Museum (NYC, USA) (2021-22), the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CA, USA) (2019-20) et al. LETHE received the merit-based full fellowship for their MFA at SFAI, as well as the IMA-Fellowship of the New York Foundation for the Arts (2018). LETHE is a BANFF Centre for the Arts resident fellow (Banff, Canada, 2018) and current BINZ39 studio resident (Zurich, 2022-24).

Transmitting their practice into educational frameworks, LETHE teaches embodied classes, art history and theory and critique seminars as visiting faculty at the University of Washington (UW, Seattle, 2020), the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI, 2017-2020) et al – and currently at ETH Zürich Architektur und Kunst.



With their base in contemporary dance, somatic practices, and massage therapy Tyra Wigg makes performances that reinforce and expand their audiences’ subjective corporeal perceptions. Tyra believes that only by being in an intimate and curious relationship with one’s physicality, concepts like ecology and queerfeminism can be fully embodied.

To expand the notion of massage during the pandemic, Tyra developed the 1-on-1 interactive performance phone massage, presented at BONE Performance Art Festival and Young Urban Performance festival. Their piece Physical Empathy (2021) in co-production with ROXY Birsfelden and Weld, further explored touch and care work in a stage context. Tyra presented their solo The Hand, the rock, your shoulder and my mouth at the protozone “Zones of Kinship, Love & Playbour” curated by Lucie Tuma in Shedhalle spring 2022, and is currently continuing their choreographic research in relation with massage and care work.

As a dancer, performer and co-creator Tyra work with artists such as, Gisèle Vienne, Shu Lea Cheang, Heiner Goebbels, Ernestyna Orlowska, Marina Abramovic, Alexandra Pirici and Inga Gerner Nielsen, and the Zürich-based performance network DIVAS.

Shedhalle – Isabel Lewis – The Institute for embodied creative practices

The Institute for embodied creative practices hosted by Isabel Lewis at Shedhalle - Protozone8: Queer Trust, 2022
photo: Vanessa Bosch