The starting point Pascale Wiedemann and Daniel Mettler have been a couple for 20 years in life and only a little shorter – since 2002 – they produce art together and are therefore also an artist couple. They have developed four solo exhibitions together for the gallery. For their fifth joint presentation, they chose a new approach to the production of the works shown, which can be described as more dialogical than for previous exhibitions, since the works are based on direct exchange.
The constituents The path of the lovers, the lovers' lane unfolds in 33 pairs of pictures, each consisting of a photograph by Daniel Mettler and a painting on velvet, or a cut-out piece of lycra fabric or an encaustic by Pascale Wiedemann. 32 pairs of pictures hang as a frieze that begins at the gallery's entrance door and extends over the entire right-hand wall of the gallery as seen from the entrance to the opening into the office space over a total of 25 metres. The wall to the left of the entrance remains empty except for a considerably larger pair of pictures hung one above the other. The presentation in frieze form avoids strong dramaturgical weightings: The individual pairs of pictures appear equally important. The frieze represents a stretch of film that the audience explores as they walk along it. The hanging enabled the artist couple to set fine rhythmic accents, for example by repeating photographic motifs or haptic moments in the paintings.
The rules of the game The dialogue, the composition of the pairs of pictures was initiated by a work that either Pascale Wiedemann or Daniel Mettler presented to the partner. The work was thrown into the pot of memories. Either Daniel reacted to this with a photograph of Pascale's picture or, conversely, Pascale reacted to Daniel's photograph. The titles of Daniel's photographs are statements of place – Pascale assigned an emotion with a significant title to the places they had travelled to together in the form of a painting. The composition of the pairs of pictures can be quite astonishing for outsiders, and perhaps the choice, the answer of the partner is not always immediately obvious even for the couple themselves. It would certainly have been interesting to witness the couple's discussion that accompanied the creation of the picture pairs, but perhaps this exchange can be fictionally recreated.
The example The pair of pictures entitled Rimini/bestimmt, the invitation card for the exhibition, is to be viewed separately. The choice of the more detailed analysis of this pair of pictures is random and is more due to the fact that it is available in printed form. Who could have initiated this dialogue? Was it Daniel who submitted the photograph Rimini to his partner for an answer, or vice versa, did Pascale surprise Daniel with the virtuoso lycra-picture? Was the choice made on the basis of formal considerations and affinities, due to the correspondence of the color sounds of the red escalator balustrade and the red lycra ground, or the centering of the white middle ground in both pictures in the form of a cloud in the photograph and the white recess in the lycra picture? What does the lapidary title "certainly" by Pascale mean? If it is a mocking answer, she makes fun of Daniel, because he has put a building into the picture in the form of the high-rise that is not in Rimini. Or does she resolutely agree with her partner - yes, sure! Certainly we were there together a few years ago, that's how it looked.
The meaning The composition of each pair of images is based on different reasons. Sometimes the memory of a place might have been decisive for the selection. All the places mentioned in the photographs were travelled by the couple together and contain memories. Sometimes a different location is blended into the picture in the photographic cross-fading. All titles of Daniel's photographs were created independently of the titles of the paintings. Pascale's titles are of course more emotional, since they do not simply designate places, although in retrospect the places can contain emotional power. The path of the lovers is tortuous, fed by the shared memories that conjure up different colours, shapes, smells and sounds. For wiedemann/mettler the 33 pairs of pictures have their own special personal meaning. In close observation and analysis, the superficial private language of the pairs of pictures can lead to a generally valid statement. On the one hand, these pairs of pictures illuminate levels of wiedemann/mettler's relationship, on the other hand they reveal more general fragments of a language of love.
The future On the wall opposite the picture frieze and also clearly set off from the frieze by the larger format hangs a photograph of the interior of the "Zukunft" nightclub in Zurich and a response by Pascale in the form of a large light blue lycra picture with recesses and accents in the upper half of the picture. In this pair of pictures the adopted home of the artist couple is prominently reproduced: A commitment to their current centre of life and a common buoyant future.