Elizabeth Janus

  • new directors for Bern and Lucerne

    THERE IS FRESH BLOOD at two venerable Swiss art institutions. Ulrich Loock, the German curator who has been the director of the Kunsthalle in Bern for the past twelve years, left in August to become director of the Kunstmuseum in Lucerne. The Kunstmuseum is moving into a new home, now under construction and scheduled for completion in January 2000. Replacing Loock is Bernhard Fibicher, a Swiss curator who spent several years at the Museum of Fine Arts in Sion—capital of the alpine state of Valais—before moving to the Kunsthaus Zurich in 1995 to head its department of works on paper.

    Though little

  • Angela Bulloch

    Angela Bulloch’s interest in the systems and codes governing human behavior and conduct has set her work apart from the often aggressive sensationalism of other young Brits who have lately been taking the art world by storm. Bulloch’s exhibition in Zurich should offer plenty of evidence in support of the artist's nomination for last year’s Turner Prize. Curated by the institution’s director, Rein Wolfs, the show assembles older pieces, such as the “Rules Series,” begun in 1990 as a list of regulations determining public and private behavior, and includes the artist's “happy sacks” (oversize

  • 100 Years: Vienna Secession

    In 1897, when Gustav Klimt and eighteen others withdrew from Vienna’s Künstlerhaus to protest the decorative academicism that prevailed there, the Secession, Austria’s version of the salon des refusés, was born. A century later, this exhibition celebrates the institution’s role in both Austrian and international art. Approximately 100 artists who have been part of the Secession’s history are represented, from Klimt, Egon Schiele, Max Beckmann, and Paul Klee through Jackson Pollock and Hans Hartung up to young artists like Fabrice Hybert, Elke Krystufek, and Jason Rhoades. Organized by critic

  • Nine Artists from Europe

    To inaugurate its Arata Isozaki–designed wing for contemporary art, Japan's Museum of Modern Art asked curator Kasper König to put together an exhibition of works by artists whom he considers crucial to an understanding of art in Europe today. The working list promises Marlene Dumas, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Katharina Fritsch, Douglas Gordon, Sigmar Polke, Niele Toroni, and Franz West. Who's the unnamed ninth? A visit to this exhibition, which presents at least four pieces (some have never been publicly shown) by each participant, should solve the mystery. In addition to a brief catalogue

  • Sam Taylor-Wood

    Sam Taylor-Wood moves easily between film and photography, emphasizing cinematic narratives in her photographs and straight-on, single-take shots in her films and videos. A selection of works from the past two years goes on view in Zurich, including the first photograph from her 1995 four-part Five Revolutionary Seconds, in which interiors shot with a 360-degree panoramic lens serve as the backdrop for tableaux fraught with psychological and sexual tension. The exhibition also features her recent video piece Pent-Up, in which the reactions of five individuals to their repressed anger and desire

  • Zonen der Ver-Störung

    Playing on the active and passive sense of the German word Verstörung (disturbance), this year’s installment of the Steirischer Herbst festival examines art—in time-based media like video, performance, and the Internet as well as in photography and site-specific installations—that is disturbing while also calling up the notion of disturbance. Two major themes, public versus private and local versus global, are explored through works by artists including Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Phyllis Baldino, Pierre Huyghe, Kristin Lucas, Tony Oursler, Laura Ruggeri, and Gillian Wearing. Organized by Silvia Eiblmayr,

  • Cities on the Move

    A recent UN report estimated that 45 percent of the world’s population lives in cities. “Cities on the Move” looks at the artistic response to changes taking place in urban centers like Jakarta, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Beijing as Asia comes to dominate the global economic picture. More than seventy artists of Asian origin—including many who work in the West, such as Huang Yong Ping, Mariko Mori, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Ken Lunn—are represented in the show, which features fifteen site-specific works. Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas contributes a special project dealing with the show’s

  • Zoe Leonard

    Zoe Leonard’s work has enjoyed little exposure on the continent since her memorable installation at the last Documenta. This two-part exhibition should bring European viewers up to date. In Basel, Leonard presents a large group of her fruit-peel sculptures and a selection of recent photographs; in Glarus, she shows a mix of older and newer photographs, including “The Fae Richards Photo Archive,” used in Cheryl Dunye’s recent film The Watermelon Woman. Kunsthalle Basel is publishing an artist’s book on the occasion of the show, while Kunsthaus Glarus is putting out a “pin-up” calendar designed

  • Matthew Barney: Cremaster 5

    With hints of Wagnerian ambition, Matthew Barney premieres the latest installment of his five-part Cremaster film cycle. In Cremaster 5 the backdrop is Budapest—birthplace of Barney’s hero Harry Houdini—where a cast of real and mythical characters, including a chorus of faeries, a magician, an opera diva, and a giant, play out the story’s denouement. While this episode is the “finale” of Barney’s ongoing series, it will not be the last installment—Cremaster 2 and Cremaster 3 remain to be made—of the artist’s nonsequential metaphorical narrative of sexual differentiation and gender identity.

  • Vidya and Jean-Michel

    For the past two years French artists Vidya and Jean-Michel have been collaborating on photographs, performances, videos, and installations. The team tackles the age-old problem of blurring the boundaries between art and life, with a youthful spirit that is equal parts post-adolescent ennui and romantic view of the ’70s, thus forming part of a wave of younger artists who appropriate earlier artistic strategies without engaging the political or ideological dimensions of the original movements.

    Until recently, Vidya and Jean-Michel focused on transforming intimate facets of their daily lives into

  • “Retrospektive Martin Kippenberger”

    Martin Kippenberger’s reputation as an organizer of underground art and music events and general provocateur has at times overshadowed his own output. Four years after his exhibition at the Pompidou introduced the artist’s work to a wider audience, Kippenberger’s output receives a comprehensive overview in this expansive show. Paintings, drawings, photographs, objects, and installations from the last twenty years are featured alongside the posters and invitation cards the artist is notorious for. An artist’s book—the form has long been an important


    GROWING UP IN A SMALL Swiss town in the late ’70s, Pipilotti Rist—a John Lennon fan and inveterate Yoko Ono groupie long before Ono’s ascension to art-rock diva status—came to art by way of pop music. While studying video at Basel’s Schüle für Gestaltung, Rist began designing sets for rock concerts and making videos for local bands; eventually she joined an all-female group now known as Les Reines Prochaines (The next queens).

    Rist’s video work takes us on a curious journey, via pop (she also composes and writes her own songs), into the furthest regions of the female psyche. One of her first