Eva Scharrer

  • Mark Wallinger

    It is the human being—not its ego—that stands at the center of Mark Wallinger’s work. And that distinguishes him from the YBAs with whom he was once associated. His Ecce Homo, 1999, conceived for a column in Trafalgar Square, where it was installed at the turn of the millennium, takes on a traditional motif of Western art history—the tortured Christ under the tribunal of Pontius Pilate—but depicts the former as an average human, wearing a barbed-wire crown on his shaved head, recalling the victims of twentieth-century extermination camps. The marble sculpture now stands in the courtyard of the

  • David Claerbout

    What if one could freeze a moment in time—or, more precisely, slow it down until its motion became almost ungraspable? And what if one could then freely move around in space within that frozen moment, so that one could closely observe each detail from all possible angles? This is what David Claerbout seems to visualize in the two works that frame his exhibition “After the Quiet.” His first solo museum show in Switzerland, curated by Konrad Bitterli, starts with The Algiers’ Sections of a Happy Moment, 2008, a digital slide show that develops a principle already probed in the previous Sections

  • picks October 29, 2008

    “Rooms Look Back”

    Departing from art historian Georges Didi-Huberman’s remarks concerning the perception of space and emotional memory (“What we see looks back on us,” he's noted), this elegantly installed group show reflects on physical and mental spaces via the medium of film and the reoccurring motif of the mirror. When one of the solemn actors in Ursula Mayer’s black-and-white 16-mm film Memories of Mirrors/Dramatic Personalities After Mary Wigman and Madam d’Ora, 2007/2008, holds up a mirror to the viewer, it accurately reflects the medium itself, as the light of the camera flashes toward us to make a

  • diary September 02, 2008

    Power Map

    Zurich

    Zurich’s gallery districts are ordered according to their own idiosyncratic hierarchy, though the division is somewhat comparable to other cities. (There are still “uptown” galleries and “downtown” ones.) The younger dealers and offbeat spaces have moved to the red-light district behind the train station, global players like Hauser & Wirth and Eva Presenhuber have their headquarters in the Löwenbräu building on Limmatstrasse, and the city center hosts more “classic” galleries. (As everywhere, exceptions confirm the rule.) The scattered layout makes for three days of season openings, which kicked

  • “Greenwashing”

    Greenwashing, according to Wikipedia, means “misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.” “Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities,” curated by Ilaria Bonacossa and the Barcelona-based curatorial office Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana Canépa Luna) at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, positioned itself critically within a history of shows engaging with environmental issues—from eco-positive approaches like “Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art,” organized by Stephanie Smith at the Smart

  • picks May 20, 2008

    Andreas Siekmann

    Serving as the most recent installment of his ongoing project Pawns, Trustees, and the Invisible Hand, 2004–, Andreas Siekmann’s exhibition “Verhandlungen unter Zeitdruck” (Negotiations Under Time Pressure) focuses on the economic restructuring of East Germany following reunification. This redevelopment was conducted through the Treuhandanstalt (Trust Agency), a kind of state-owned holding company that, aided by several consulting firms, privatized former GDR property after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. During this transformation from a national to an international economy, the Treuhandanstalt

  • picks May 14, 2008

    Heike Bollig

    Berlin-based artist Heike Bollig is a minute observer and a collector of unthreatening objects and documents—preferably those that demonstrate a sense of imperfection or are used to communicate in public spaces. In her first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, Bollig presents a series of works based on homemade advertisements, often found on billboards or lampposts, which have little strips with telephone numbers for interested parties to tear off. Bollig owns a significant collection of these individually designed notices and uses them as inspiration for abstract works on paper—just some

  • picks May 13, 2008

    Arcangelo Sassolino

    In the two main works comprising “Critical Mass,” his first solo exhibition in Germany, Italian artist Arcangelo Sassolino turns engineering devices into uncanny, subversively destructive objects. Sassolino employs physical forces—tension, weight, pressure—in ways that emphasize their destructive potential as partly controllable yet unpredictable. Made with help from engineers, Aphasia II, 2008, for example, consists of two steel end pieces of pipes used to channel gas, welded together to form a small rounded object encapsulating 250 bars of nitrogen (which is equivalent to nearly 750 cubic feet

  • Ján Mančuška

    Ján Mančuška’s recent exhibition, “Only those wild species that appeal to people will survive,” was an unswerving assault on the linearity of audiovisual perception and spatial movement, in which a formally conceptual approach was intertwined with intimate experience. The exhibition opened with a single frame—an oversize painting of one blank frame from a film strip, almost playfully reversing Malevich’s Black Square, 1915. The single frame became the leitmotif of the show, defining not only its content but its architecture. The rectangular format repeatedly appeared diagonal to the L-shaped

  • picks January 16, 2008

    “Neolithic Porns”

    Featuring as it does Delacroix, Linder, Henrik Olesen, and Paul Thek, rather than artists from the gallery’s stable, the exhibition inaugurating Isabella Bortolozzi’s new space (an Alt-Berliner apartment near the Neue Nationalgalerie that, according to Bortolozzi, used to belong to actor Hans Albers) sounded strange but seductive—an impression made only stronger by the show’s title. Greeted by what the press release calls “hard-core sentimental songs” by Italian chanteuse Mina, visitors enter through a hallway into a wood-paneled room in which a gold-framed eighteenth-century painting depicting

  • Rachel Khedoori

    Six years after a comprehensive solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel, Rachel Khedoori returned to Switzerland for her second solo show at Hauser & Wirth Zurich. Interiors—spaces inhabited both physically and mentally—still form her main subject matter, but for this show she abstained from the walk-in film installations she’s become known for and focused on sculptures: small-scale models of rooms, mostly with the same floor plan though otherwise unalike, and sculptures of furniture, such as beds and armoires. These miniature versions of familiar domestic décor seem to be haunted by

  • Ibon Aranberri

    As if questioning if, or how, context changes content, Ibon Aranberri titled his recent show “Integration.” The minimal installation featured three projects from the past seven years—of which only one has actually been realized in its original context, while the other two exist as relics or project sketches, though ones that the artist now regards as works in and of themselves. Aranberri grew up in the Basque country in the post-Franco era, and most of his work uses this specific geopolitical background to show how the decoding of cultural memory—and forgetting—can be translated

  • Lutz & Guggisberg

    The work of the Swiss duo Andres Lutz and Anders Guggisberg, much like that of their predecessors Fischli & Weiss, inspires critics to speak of a “cosmos” rather than an “oeuvre.” Through a kind of encyclopedic indexing, the artists try to make their own sense of the chaos of the world. Lutz & Guggisberg’s over-the-top scenarios make use of almost any medium imaginable in accumulations of innumerable objects that interweave the found with the crafted, the philosophic with the banal, the mystic with the playful and ironic. Their exhibition at Kunstverein Freiburg, a former public swimming pool,

  • Simon Dybbroe Møller

    An ill-fated attempt to fold a paper crane from memory gave the title to Simon Dybbroe Møller’s most comprehensive museum show thus far, “Like Origami Gone Wrong.” The exhibition was curated by Madeleine Schüppli, director of the Kunstmuseum Thun, and organized in collaboration with the Aarhus Kunsbygning in Denmark, where it was first shown. Dybbroe Møller cast his failed effort in steel—State of mind (A permanent sculpture), 2006—and installed it in the garden outside the Kunstmuseum. Although the abstract geometrical form might not closely resemble a crane, it does look very much like a modern

  • “Romantic Conceptualism”

    Though the pairing of Romanticism with Conceptual art is hardly common in art-historical writing, Conceptual art has long been misunderstood as a necessarily dry affair. Even Sol LeWitt, who famously stated in his 1967 “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” that an “emotional kick” would “deter the viewer from perceiving this art,” wrote two years later in his “Sentences” that “Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.” From the beginning, artists such as Bas Jan Ader and Robert Barry, among others, have breached the ratio of the conceptual

  • Marcel van Eeden

    For the Hague- and Berlin-based artist Marcel van Eeden, it seems, the word death refers to the time before one’s life as well as after its end. His “Encyclopedia of My Death” (as his body of work was once described by a curator—the name has stuck) is a lifetime’s work in progress: Since 1993 he has made at least one drawing a day, copying images from magazines, books, albums, postcards, and archives, all dating back to between the ’20s and 1965—the artist’s birth year. He intends to continue until his death (or should one call it “second death”?), in a resolute attempt to work against the

  • diary August 27, 2007

    To the Limmat

    Zurich

    Zurich’s annual season kickoff is a three-day marathon of openings distributed throughout the city’s three main gallery districts. But the real highlight is Friday night’s joint venture at the Löwenbräu-Areal on Limmatstrasse, where the Swiss art world converges to wheel new deals. It’s a convenient location, as the bulk of the major galleries and institutions all share the same building, with an additional handful across the street. I began the evening’s jaunt at de Pury & Luxembourg, where Jimmie Durham was showing over thirty objects made over the past eleven years along with his 2002 film

  • picks August 14, 2007

    “The Moment You Realise You Are Lost”

    This summer group show, guest-curated by Adam Carr, celebrates the unfinished, the inexplicable, and the self-referential. This, of course, means there are many references to 1960s and 1970s Conceptual art. Mustering twelve young and still relatively unknown artists based in the UK, France, and Germany, the show aims to confuse and unsettle rather than to offer a digestible concept. Some of the works are immaterial or easy to overlook (Mandla Reuter), some are based on other artists’ creations (Benoît Maire, Yann Sérandour), and others come to life through viewer participation (Tris Vonna-Michell).

  • picks August 06, 2007

    “Fireflies”

    This is an exhibition of four young Basel-based artists one should keep an eye on. Its title evokes the fragile beauty of the very subtle, and it’s with just this subtlety, and nominal effort, that the four's works fill the gallery. In a narrow room, Kilian Rüthemann has heaped salt along the wall between two corners. Meeting the floor along an exact, straight line, the salt forms the shape of a neat ramp with crystalline shimmering surface structure—a gesture of intriguing lightness and accuracy, cheerfully mimicking Beuys’s canonical Fettecke (Fat Corner), 1963, Wolfgang Laib’s pollen or rice

  • picks May 18, 2007

    Micol Assaël

    Entitled “Chizhevsky Lessons” after Alexander Chizhevsky, the Russian scientist who explored the correlation between solar activity and historical events, this installation by Micol Assaël, produced in cooperation with the All-Russian Electrotechnical Institute Lenin, tests the laws of physics in direct action on the human body. Upon entering, one first senses a disquieting buzz sound, followed by a tickling of the skin as one’s body hair stands on end. It’s the loaded atmosphere that precedes a thunderstorm, but re-created artificially with a cascade generator, a transformer, copper plates,