Zurich, Switzerland

Installation at Löwenbräu Kunst, Zürich
Mixed Media Installation

BEYOND THE BADGES is an installation, which leads to a narrative extension of the collaborative film project „XTERMINATING BADGES“ with the cantonal police of Zürich. It  offers a narrative continuation of the open end of the film. The installation is a setting similar to a crime scene, a „tableau vivant“, a frozen scene. In general, the topic is about the conflict between Freedom and Security. The wild Jaguar (Freedom)  threatens the viewer inside the museum´s exhibition space. The Police Dog (Security) is present to arrest and secure the wild beast. 

Ceramic objects, developed within a workshop with police officers, were initiated by the question: What is the favourite animal and the favourite working tool or weapon? The results were fused objects modeled by the police officers themselves: A Peeperspray-Penguin, a Taser-Chicken, an Elephant-Police Car, a Handcuff-PC Mouse, a Tonfa-Snake.  Be aware of the pepper spray penguin! 
Don´t mess with the high voltage Taser-Chicken.  

Pepperspray-Penguin, ceramic, metal glaze, 38cm x 30cm 

TASER-CHICKEN, ceramic, metal glaze, 38cm x 30cm x 10cm
TONFA-SNAKE, ceramic, metal glaze, 38cm x 30cm x 8cm
ELECOPHANT, ceramic, metal glaze, 38cm x 30cm x 15cm

PC-HACKER, ceramic, metal glaze, 35cm x 30cm x 5cm

"Weapon Treasure Box" 44 ceramic objects, metal glaze, polyresin dog

"Wormhole-Snake-Tonfa", ceramic, metal glaze, aluminium tubes, paint

The Struggle between Security and Freedom: Does the wild jaguar (freedom) kill the 
Policedog? Or does the Police dog arrest and secure the wild beast?

"Cop dog" polyresin, ceramic, metal glaze, steel screws

The Police Dog carries special foot cuffs and a root chakra tonfa 
to arrest the wild jaguar beast.

The jaguar has torn the police dog´s body 

"Xterminating Badges" Edition of 25, textile badge, 8 x 8 cm 
„Crime Scene“ screen print of 3D Scan film set locations, 120cm x 60cm
„Crime Scene“ screen print of 3D Scan film set locations, 120cm x 60cm
„Crime Scene“ screen print of 3D Scan film set locations, 120cm x 60cm


Zurich, Switzerland

Film produced and commissioned by Manifesta 11
in collaboration with Cantonal Police, Zürich

Film HD, 29 min, color, german, eng. sub.

Schmitt´s template for „Xterminating Badges“ was Luis Buñuel‘s cinematic and surreal masterpiece „The Exterminating Angel“ from 1962. A group of rich and influential friends meet for an extravagant dinner party one evening and wake up the next morning in the same room, inexplicably incapable of leaving the villa. The macabre metaphor from  Franco-era Spain is not lost in present-day Zurich, where the police museum, bristling with confiscated weapons, is the claustrophobic setting for the drama. In recreating that Surrealist film, Schmitt made one change that, above all others, led to a remarkable result: all characters are played by police officers from the canton of Zurich. Schmitt’s interest in the police has to do with the delicate balance between freedom and security––when and why people give up one to gain the other.The police officers who took part in Schmitt’s method acting workshops can beseen, however, to enjoy the comic release from their professional personae. Schmitt, himself, also performs two characters: One is the Butler, who is serving the police officers and leading them to their subconcious paradise. The other character is the butler´s wealthy boss, who is the cops host. Master and servant in one person. Though law enforcement is perhaps the last thing some people would associate with absurdity, the scene where the characters mold clay into shapes combining their favorite tool or weapon with their favorite animal reveals just how symbolic the rules and iconography of law and order truly are––and how ripe they are for investigation.

Installation at Police Station of Cantonal Police, Zürich



FROM TAIL TO TAIL - FROM FLAG TO FLAG. The Installation is as a setting for a performance. Marco Schmitt combines mexican post-indeginous cleansing practices by Chamula Tribe and Tlahuicas with political motivated interventional elements. A particpatory performance, in which the audience interact with the artist. The artist becomes a shaman standing on the NATO flag - burping Coca Cola into each of four cardinal directions to get liberated and cleansed from demons. Burping four words after one another becomes a spiritual ritual. WEST - BURP - EAST - BURP - NORTH - BURP - SOUTH - BURP.  Afterwards each person of the audience gets instructed by Schmitt to position on the UNO flag, literally on four legs like an animal.The intention is to transform each person to their individual spirit animal with a tail. Schmitt touches each person´s root chakra and anus with a police tonfa covered in jaguar fur. The Tonfa becomes a shamanistic tool. It is a tail extension connected with people´s root chakra becoming an animal with a tail and four legs. The tail is a lost bodypart and the root -chakra is rudimentary. The Tonfa jaguar tail is a symbol for mass control or mass domestification which is misappropriated here to an shamanistic and animalistic tool to retransform the lost wilderness. FROM TAIL TO TALE!



Installation of ceramic objects at Material Art Fair 2015, Mexico-City 

with helper Gallery, Brooklyn, USA.



Audemars - Piguet and Welkunst Art-Salon at the Hotel "Das Stue", Berlin

The free Art Meditation is a meditation technique developed for artists, collectors, 
curators, gallerists, museum directors, art investment bankers, etc. 
It totally changes the perception of art. 

It is perfect for:

- a better art production. 
- a better quality of art.
- a better art collection.
- a better art investment. 
- a better life.
- a better death.


Marco Schmitt´s solo show at REH-transformer, Berlin, extends from film (Mexico, 2014) to an installation of ceramic objects.

Aesthetically, the glazed clay sculptures recall commonly known objects and icons from everyday affairs of the police and/or private security services as well as objects from aztec and indigenous culture. Schmitt's works generate abstract and distorted elements analogous to encrypted codec parameters used by military or top secret services. One work unifies 64 single elements of handmade glazed terracotta tiles with a panopticon-like symbol on it. The tiles can be arranged in various new sequences to interfere with the original symbol and significance. Schmitt merges high-tech and mysticism. The high-tech becomes high-aztec. The high-tech panoptic matrix transforms into a mystical panoptic matrix and then back again. The borders are indistinct. He encodes and decodes the objects simultaneously.

The film was shot in Mexico at highly loaded symbolic locations: an indigenous temple, an Atztec plateau and an octagonal urban architecture. The encrypting technique of the top-secret services bears a number of interesting similarities with the  signification of images and the Aztec and indigenous construction of deities. These appear quite complex to us today. Schmitt works with heavily charged mythological symbolism and used it as a platform to link new expressions of spirituality and western high-tech culture in a subversive way.

"decoded panoctagon" 64 handglazed ceramic tiles

"encoded panoctagon" 64 handglazed ceramic tiles

or the second coming of Tezcatlipoca

A Film by Marco Schmitt
18min , HDCam, color
Austria / Germany / Mexico 2014

  The Sky over the Otomi Ceremonial Center at Temoaya in Mexico. The camera pans down to show a massive outdoor stone structure and the shaman Raul Trejo. An aerial shot reveals that the shaman is seated in center of a mosaic representation of the Ouroboros, the snake which bites its own tail, thus elevating itself from finite line to infinite circle. Through a spiritual ritual, Trejo calls a flying drone into presence. It arrives from the sun and .dives toward the Ouroboros

In a film loaded with spiritual, social and architectonic symbols, which reflect the syncretism of indigenous and high-tech cultures in contemporary Mexico, Schmitt constructs an allegory on the complex nature of authorship.


During his research visit in New York City, Marco Schmitt was occupied with a specific question: How do institutions operate and to what extent do structures of administration and management represent art institutions?

To further explore this question, he visited and photographed the internal offices of some key figures within the context of the New York art world, such as Richard Armstrong, at the Guggenheim, Massimiliano Gioni, at the New Museum and RoseLee Goldberg, at the Performa office. His photographs focus on personal objects, fragments of design language and how these elements are or might be used to reveal how and where the directors work. As part of the performance program, Ich / I, Schmitt proposes to retrieve those visits within the setting of Stuttgart, where he will continue to develop his list. Combining the material from New York with new material from Stuttgart-based institutions, he aims to develop an installation on the first floor of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, where the office and administration are located. Visitors are invited to take a tour with the artist in order to "read" the photographs together as a collective experience within the office context.

"Enter my office and have a look into my exhibition! Have a look into my office, and see my attitude…

Office of Richard Armstrong, Guggenheim Museum, NYC

Office of Massimiliano Gioni, New Museum, NYC

Office of RoseLee Goldberg, Performa, NYC

Installation at the office of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart

Installation of M. Gioni`s office at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart´s office

Archival Folders of etat, board and insurance on top



Solo show at Bikini Wax Gallery, Mexico City, 2013.


a project by Marco Schmitt, Brooklyn, New York, 2012


Inspired by the Doors song «Queen of the Highway» and «Break on thru to the other side. Marco Schmitt was driving an experimental group show. He put the paperwork of 48 artists in each one of 48 cardboard boxes and stacked all of them on top of eachother. He organized a pre-opening at Fort Tilden Parking Lot near Rockaway Beach, where he drove with a car full speed through the cardboard box sculpture. The boxes were crashed and the paperworks spread on the parking lot. He installed all smashed boxes, paperworks and a flatscreen showing the film, in which Schmitt was driving fast over all bridges of New York and crashing through the cardboard boxes.

The Higher United States of Artist are:

Patrick Alt, Andrew Birk, Christiane Blattmann, Chris Boni, Ulrike Buck, Shelley Burgon, Nadja Buttendorf, Barbara J.T. Choit, Irving Dominguez, Helena Dietrich, Maria Elena, Christian Falsnaes, Rainer Ganahl, Sonja Gerdes, Anna Gohmert, Nathan Gwynne, Andrea Eva Györi, Anette Halm, Jörg Heiser, Sören Hiob, Daniel Herleth, Fabiola Iza, Christian Jankowski, Frieda Torranzo-Jäger, Anita Kapraljevic, Zerek Kempf, Romy Kießling, Byung Chul Kim, Florian Klette, Justyna Koeke, Lilia Kovka, Natalia Ibanez Lario, Jaeeun Lee, David Lukowski, Pia Maria Martin, Aurele B. Mechler, Nora Moschüring, Daniel Neumann, Christina Ochoa, Yoshua Okon, José Jimenez Ortiz, Ruth Patir, Donato Piccolo, Anahita Razmi, Rosa Rücker, Manuel Scheiwiller, Adam Shecter, Nathalie Snel, Rebecca Sokoll, Georg Tiller, Claudia de la Torre, Bärbel Trautwein, Serge de Waha, Fritz Welch, Joe Winter, Adnan Yildiz.


Performance, Video, 8:51min, Mexico-City

Documentation of a 10 hour performance in the streets of Mexico-City. He was yelling 280 slogans like:

Viva la Desolación! Viva la Determinación! Viva la Detonación! Viva la Discriminación! Viva la Documentación! Viva la Domesticación! Viva la Dominación! Viva la Duración! Viva la Educación! Viva la Eyaculación!
Viva la Emancipación! Viva la Mensturación!

Schmitt used the aesthetics of the mexican revolution and of mexican casual publicity vehicles, which are all over Mexico-City bothering people with its megaphone slogans. Art Revolution or Revolution Art?


Video 5:10min, Mexico City, 2012

?In this video the artist asks the question: What is important or valuable ?
What is symbolic and what not? Schmitt refers Sol Lewit´s work „Buried cube containing an object of importance but little value“ to „Flying cube containing an object of unimportance but big value. The white dove is a symbol of peace.
.The  white cube is fixed to the leg like a „Cube and chain“  similar to prisoners used to have in the past. 
..The Artist liberates.. 


If you are interested to receive further information, a detailed PDF Portfolio about my work, please contact me and I`ll send you also some links to full version of films and videos.

© 2016 all images and texts by Marco Schmitt