Muzeum Susch: One Building, Two Worlds
In Susch, a village of 200 inhabitants at the foot of the Flüela Pass, old meets young – provided you can find the entrance. The Muzeum Susch, which opened in 2019, is so well camouflaged that many visitors miss the door. When you enter the hollowed-out building complex that was once a monastery and brewery, a new world opens up: that of Grażyna Kulczyk, the Polish entrepreneur and art patron who set herself the goal of putting Susch on the cultural map.
This goal was achieved not least because of the breathtaking architecture of this building, thanks to the local duo Chasper Schmidlin and Lukas Voellmy, who restored the existing structures over three years, creating a stunning environment that works extremely well, both visually and functionally. A 1,500-square-metre area houses a sizeable collection of works of art – mostly by Polish citizens. A stainless-steel cylinder by Kulczyk’s compatriot Miroslaw Balka rotates in a natural grotto, leaving you wondering where architecture ends and art begins. A totem-like tower by Argentinian Adrian Villar Rojas stands in a 12th-century chamber and looks as if it has always been there. Only on the upper floors does the darkness give way to light: throughout numerous rooms, the variety of art on display in Wanda Czetkowska’s temporary exhibition is deliberately disorientating. The works are representative of Kulczyk’s leitmotif at the Muzeum Susch: primarily conceptual art and that of women who have been unfairly overlooked. “Art is not Rest” is the name of the current exhibition. Indeed, you will only find inner peace again outside.
The sun has broken through the clouds, and we treat ourselves to a traditional Engadin nut cake from the museum café before we leave. We reflect on how incredibly rich the contrasts have been between everything have seen over the last 48 hours: life and death at the Segantini Museum; old and new in Tarasp; intellectual in the earthy Susch. Perhaps there is harmony in opposites. Via the Vereina Pass, we leave the mountains behind us – but we have no doubt that the impressions will remain forever.
Charlotte Fischli is a writer, consultant and content creator exploring the worlds of fashion, interior and design.