The Family
Jürg Davatz
Zeno backing an apple pie at home, expecting
his girlfriend Yuka from Tokyo
In 1973 they decide to have children switching roles in the family: Ursula is the breadwinner and pursues her career while Da Vaz withdraws from public art life and develops his art work at home among his three children, Ariuscha-Madlaina-Barbulin 73, Zeno-Ramun-Raphael 75 and Fay-Maureen-Chichignou 77 and Woody the dachshund. Da Vaz has an issue with kindergardens. He has a deep disdain of early childhood manipulation by collective programs. Instead he puts emphasis on sports. He offers his children individual experience through play and travelling.
The Da Vaz family explores the USA and Canada, crossing the North American continent several times with their VW Camper during their five year stay. Upon return, they travel widely in Europe. He also takes his family across the Eurasian continent by train from Zurich to Moscow, on the Trans-Siberian train to Irkutsk and Ulan Bator into China. From Beijing they travel by train to Xian, Chengdu and Chongking and by boat down the three Gorges on the Yangtse river to Wuhan, Guilin, Guangshou and Hongkong. They visit Egypt together. Da Vaz offers his family a political trip through the last days of the DDR. Then the family travels to the Himalayas in Nepal; to Vietnam from the Mekong river in the South to the Red river in the north and the thousand islands of Bay D`Halong. The family attends the Indian wedding of their friends in Delhi. They travel to the hillstations of Simla, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Gangtok and by jeep through Sikkim and the Kingdom of Bhutan to finally reach Calcutta. The summer always belongs to Greece, the winter to Lüsai.
Switching roles on one hand and the frankness of perception towards complexity and autonomy of action on the other are main themes of the family. It is not the hierarchy of proceedure and of objects which is passed on to the children but the possibility to explore convention, fixed values and predispositions, to let authenticity of action develop. Da Vaz's interest in architecture makes him reconstruct the living quarters of the family into big and open activity centers where all houshold activities are included in one. The children grow up in an environment of multiple fields of interest and action. As he points out, it is the
It is the family that persuades him to return to public art life.