art in a swiss prison

(quotes and photos from this article at

Malik and Note, Swiss artists, wanted a new project and contacted a prison director about painting a mural.


They soon received an answer from Marcel Ruf, the prison director, saying that they should call in to discuss the project.



The dimensions were enormous. Malik and Note were moving through a complex almost solely comprised of concrete. Gray flowed into gray, complemented by the cloudy sky above: a bare landscape, defined only by the coldness and emptiness of the concrete.


The murals that can now be seen in the prison were completed over an 18-month period. Exercise yards, corridors, stairwells, and of course the vast outside walls were been painted by the 16 artists. What began as an idea just before falling asleep evolved into a work of art that is probably unique in this form.

Malik_WalkingArea-600x392 (1)

The feedback we received shows that both the prison guards and the prisoners are very engaged with the artworks and that they are often the subjects of in-depth discussion – despite little common knowledge about the topic of art, to say nothing of street art.


See more photos here.