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inter:archive revisits and activates the VOLUMES Archive from a queer and intersectional approach. The material gathered here – in various art publishing formats – ranges from speculative fiction, performative scripts, artist zines, picture book, photography booklet to a collection of artistic manifestos. The archive serves as a space for imagining plural futurities, going beyond the mere storage or categorization of archival sources. This section intends to grow with time including more publications by local and international art practitioners.

This page is formed as a collaboration with inter:archive, an ongoing experimental project by Giovanna Bragaglia, Miwa Negoro, and Camille Regli. inter:archive collects and interacts with the multiple voices, literatures, sources and artistic positions that endeavor to emancipate intersectional lived experiences. The online platform is accessible here.

Mistress in Switzerland

Alina Kopytsa

Mistress in Switzerland
published in 2017

Residing in the queer and kinky scene, Alina Kopytsa seeks a space for gender positivity through retrieving and narrating everyday intimate stories of hers and her companions. Her embroidery works aim at subverting normative boundaries, power relations, and positionality in sex, gender, and sexuality. They test a form of subordination and domination, and of fetishization and obsession. In doing so, the works embrace pleasure and desire, while at the same time examining a sense of intimacy, trust, or tension in bodily relationships. Her works are sensuous and playful. They are freeing themselves from heteronormative-patriarchal perception and monogamous fantasy.

Mistress in Switzerland (2017) is an erotic picture book: a facsimile edition of Kopytsa’s eponymous work from the series Service (2017-2019 - recently bought for the collection of City of Zurich). The artist narrates the stories of sex workers through embroidery drawings and texts on pink fabric: their feelings or conversations during the sexual services. Each scene is composed of simple but marked black lines and is framed within a square, like a comic, by a glued black fabric – perhaps a piece of a pantyhose or a memory of a transient sexual contact with customers.

The artist got to know the protagonists of these stories in Zurich, in parties, SM clubs, and elsewhere. She shared intimate moments with them, discussing, interviewing, drawing, and extracted their narratives stitching the scene. Bed sheets or underwear owned by the protagonists became the materials of the work as well as the book cover.

Kopytsa grew up surrounded by textiles and sewing machines in Poliske in the Kyiv region (Ukraine) in the nest of a family working in the textile industry for generations. The choice of textiles as her primary medium followed naturally. Sewing textiles is her artistic language but in a rather disruptive way, in which the needle penetrates the unhealed wounds and inflames the pains. Through such an act, the everyday emotions and sexual explorations are transformed into something tangible. Yet, the frank and delicate depiction of the situation in her work evokes the nuanced libido of different bodies, leaving room for imagination.
Text by inter:archive
Alina Kopytsa graduated in Bachelor Fine Arts from the Zurich University of the Arts in 2020. Previously she received her diploma in graphic arts from the National Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (2000-2006). Gender relations, sexual behavior, and fetishism are subjects of Kopytsa’s work which spans from textiles, sculptures to performances. Her work addresses social taboos, unveiling the possibility of a passionate sexual drive free from gender-political relations and social expectations.