Narration and Performance

Narration and Performance

In the group exhibition Narration and Performance we show works by four female artists and one male artist from the gallery programme alongside works by guests. The title of the exhibition allows us to show a wide range of works. The term performance has been lately used rather abundantly in press releases, we therefore have simply put it in the title of the exhibition. Narration, the narrative, is often closely linked to the performance aspect of artistic work. In works with a performative and/or narrative character, often people are depicted: In the first room, a postcard shows the artist duo Gilbert & George as Human Sculpture. In the middle room, three photographs from 1977 present Rebecca Horn in a performance with a threatening drawing mask. Willy Spiller photographed a great example of a playful performance and an incunabulum of Swiss art history in 1970 when he staged David Weiss and Urs Lüthi together at various locations in Zurich. The pair of pictures Me and the Other by Klodin Erb, painted behind glass, braces the central exhibition space. Anne-Lise Coste astonishes with adaptations of Mondrian pictures in her signature airbrush technique. A process that diametrically opposes Mondrian's meticulous way of working and charges his rational colour fields in primary colours with emotions. Opposite, an offset print from 1974 reproduces the androgynous Urs Lüthi, who is not the only one who is alone. Next to the self-portrait of Lüthi, hangs his graphic suite Blessures sentimentales in three sheets and in different techniques. The triptych Energy comes from Energy by Urs Fischer could be understood as the early creation of a possible motto. On invitation for exhibitions he depicted hands and feet and a cake with a candle: Elements that refer to his later gigantic sculptures of hands and his wax sculptures. In the two large canvases by Klodin Erb with the prosaic title After the Landscape and the unusual formats (Shaped canvas), the performative character of their production is revealed. In this group of five paintings Erb painted with enamel lacquer, which in the drying process throws folds depending on the application of paint. Thus the representation is further changed after the end of the painting process. Erb poured the synthetic resin paint onto the pictures lying on the floor and distributed them with a mop. This gave her the impression of paint deposits and marbled sediments. The group of pictures was created for an exhibition in the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau, Switzerland and is inspired by pictures by Caspar Wolf (1735-1783) from the museum collection. Caspar Wolf is known for his cave views. Klodin Erbs' paintings can be seen as views from or into the caves. On the floor the work Equivalent by Mamiko Otsubo is arranged. The conceptual work borrows its form and name from Carl Andre’s minimalist sculpture series Equivalent from 1966/69. In this version, the 120 firebricks are replaced with used paperback copies of the Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, featuring the infamous portrait of Stein by Picasso. On one end of the sculpture, a number of skin toned silicone casts of these books serve as “prosthetics” and stand in for additional copies. Carl Andre is understandably a big fan of the works by Gertrude Stein. Stein, a materialist in her own right, gave words and language a double life. In the back room, Clare Goodwin arranged ceramic plates in such a way that they recall figures from Oskar Schlemmer's Triadic Ballet and figures by Kasimir Malevich. Opposite, three people are depicted in different poses: Richard Hamilton presents a Dedicated Follower of Fashion who wanted to get a model job in Hamburg by sending his photograph to an agency; Dieter Roth shows himself in the Self-portrait as a Parisian not as from Paris, but disguised as a contraceptive, and Ulrike Rosenbach imitates the macho gestures of Elvis Presley, as Andy Warhol had captured them. These role-plays can be excellently summarized under the exhibition title Narration and Performance and show the tendency of the artists in the 1970s to question and stage themselves.

Narration and Performance

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