Andreas Heusser's artistic approach can be best described as creating long-term fictional realities made from contemporary real-world patterns. The works react upon and interact with a specific cultural or political situation while being created within that context, with that particular audience, and within the social space of everyday life. Andreas Heusser uses the media and skills that will best address the content and situation to accomplish the aimed – often political – effects. Thus, the works can be enacted at any site – in galleries and museums, on the internet, on the street, or even in remote areas and other places where people normally would not expect it. Heusser's approach to constructing those fictions is conceptual, yet dynamic, and can be characterized by the following features:
By spotting controversial identities, practices or organizations, the fiction aims to increase awareness of social or political issues, undermine unjust situations, expose wrong beliefs and motivate the audiences to engage as political agents. Although the fictional nature of the projects is obscured, it is not totally hidden and can be understood by the reasonably well-informed and attentive observer.
b. Immersive Fiction / Fictionalized reality
The works aim to establish a fiction that infiltrates the reality, becoming as immersive as possible: Staged events merge with real events, fictitious characters are being perceived as real, and vice versa, entities and elements from the real world become an integral part of the narration.
c. Transmediality and Hybridity
The fiction is told through a series of public space interventions and participative actions, traditional news media and social media. The various components of the work evolve and converge into one coherent fictional totality which is usually identified by the name of an organization or institution (eg. NO SHOW MUSEUM, OLAF, CHASOS).
The fictious characters enact their roles as realistic as possible. Everything happens in real time. The audience is able to participate and interact with the fictious characters and contribute to shape the dynamic storyline.
Between 2009 and 2011, Andreas Heusser produced a series of large scale projects that bridge the gap between art and activism. Designed to reach not only the
art scene, but to achieve a political effect on the general public, those projects often took place outside of art institutions, and involved public interventions, websites, social media,
press releases, and other forms of dissemination. Using methods like parody, satire, interventions, and tactical obfuscation, he created fake organizations and corporations (including
counterfeiting sites, media hoaxes and fictional characters) through imitating real corporations and political organizations. Tactics like subversive affirmation and overidentification were used
to create controversy and generate media coverage in dominant media outlets. Despite the unmistakable satiric content, those fake identities were often mistaken for the real thing and their
critiques were not readily intelligible to audiences.
For example, in cooperation with Nüssli / Oeschger, he launched a counter-propaganda in order to subvert a xenophobic campaign of the swiss right wing party (SVP) by creating a twin-organization that was even more extreme in its claims – to a degree that it became ridiculous (OLAF, 2010). Although the media coverage in the Swiss and international press was considerable, it did not put the Swiss electorate off from accepting the deportation initiative …
Another example is the CHASOS Campaign, launched in 2011 as a satirical reaction on how media and politicians portrayed negative images and reinforces prejudices and fears by evoking the dystopia of gigantic waves of refugees which are alleged to flood tiny Switzerland after the Arabic Spring.
Still following the described artistic approach, Andreas Heusser has devoted himself since 2013 to the exploration of nothing in art, philosophy and science.This has developed into the NO SHOW MUSEUM, the first museum dedicated to nothing and its various manifestations throughout the history of art. The museum reproduces the typical structures, mechanisms, rituals and strategies of established art institutions. And as a result, the project becomes a model in which we can observe the contextual conditions that are required for the recognition of something (or nothing) as art. What is needed for the successful promotion and marketing of art? Implicit in the project, then, is the question: What is needed for the successful promotion and marketing of art?