From the gardens of Schwyz to the heights of Klausenpass, The Silent Reading Salon creates collective spaces where language and landscape merge. 

The Salon

Traveling through the founding cantons and beyond, we invite visitors to participate in an original and collective outdoor reading experience. For each event, furniture is arranged to create a comfortable open-air salon where guests are provided with copies of "Schwyz.Uri.Unterwalden.," a book which explores the natural landscapes in which the readers are absorbed.


In a digitally-inundated society hungry for contact with the physical world, this shared

sensory experience reminds participants that even reading is an embodied act.


 The Script

The first step in writing "Schwyz.Uri.Unterwalden." was a literal one. Shelby Stuart made 21 walking trips through the founding cantons of the country in order to explore what constitutes a place beyond the personal and collective narratives we attach to it. Rather than reiterating the clichés surrounding the symbolic core of the country, she sought to record the tangible details of her encounters with each canton. The book is a meditative reflection on the realities and projections that create a place, and the surprising experiences which can emerge there.


Recently translated from English to German, a bilingual edition has just been published with

edition taberna kritika (Bern). A book that had to be walked to be written, it

will now usher readers into a live encounter with the land.


History of the Salon

The first Silent Reading Salon was curated by Shelby Stuart in 2021 in the fields of Bruderholz on the outskirts of Basel. What began as an experimental reading event became a participatory model, one that was later repeated in the garden of Villa Renata, an art space in Basel. At each salon, visitors appreciated the shelter of a space to read within the silence of the outdoors, and were often surprised by the subtle shifts of meaning that the beauty of their surroundings brought to the page.


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