The Museum Bärengasse, where the Kunsthalle Zürich has been temporarily located, is a highly unusual building for a contemporary art gallery: there is no stylistic cohesion, and the interior is a confusing labyrinth of tiny chambers with elaborate paneling, decorative stucco, and prominent ceramic stoves. In this quasi-domestic setting, the exhibition "Town-Gown Conflict" brought together Lucy McKenzie, Verena Dengler, Lucile Desamory, Caitlin Keogh, Beca Lipscombe, pelican avenue, and Elizabeth Radcliffe to explore textiles by both artists and designers whose works of art and of so-called applied art raise issues relating to social formatting. For the purposes of the exhibition, textiles are defined as encompassing fashion—both industrial and produced by hand, and including display, distribution, and documentation—and the craft practices of tapestry weaving, embroidery, and printed textiles. "Town-Gown Conflict" also embraced the issue of textiles in relation to fine art, such as their incorporation as a component in an installation or as a direct inspiration for drawing and painting.
This publication attempts to transform the exhibition into book form. It includes an essay by Lucy McKenzie in which she focuses on the distribution of the artworks throughout the building to create a pattern of juxtapositions, as well as texts on each of the participating artists by Constance Barrère Dangleterre, Catriona Duffy, Kris Krimpe, Lucy McEachan, Anne Pontegnie, Isabella Anna-Maria Ritter, Philipp Traun, and Peter York.
The book contains numerous installation views and is published in the Kunsthalle Zürich series.