Eva Scharrer

  • Left: Brian Kerstetter and artist Olaf Breuning. Right: Swiss Institute director Gianni Jetzer, Migros Museum director Heike Munder, and dealer Giangi Fonti. (All photos: Eva Scharrer)
    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

  • Alfred Johansen, Untitled, 1966, two silver gelatin prints, each 17 3/4" x 23 5/8.
    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).

  • Kilian Rüthemann, No Linking Element, 2007, salt, dimensions variable.
    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

  • View of “Micol Assaël: Chizhevsky Lessons,” 2007.
    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,

  • Peter Roehr, Ohne Titel (Untitled), 1966, paper on cardboard, 19 7/8 x 19 7/8".
    picks May 16, 2007

    Jonathan Monk and Peter Roehr

    The pairing of Jonathan Monk, known for his smart, poetic reinterpretations of Minimalist and Conceptual artworks and ideas, with Peter Roehr, an underappreciated Minimal Pop artist (if the term doesn’t exist, it should), is logical—if unexpected in a commercial gallery. It’s possible that Monk’s monumental One in Two Hundred and Fifty in One, 2007—his largest installation to date—was inspired by Roehr, who died at twenty-four in 1968. Monk’s work consists of two hundred and fifty black-and-white photographs printed at a photo lab on standard Ilford photo paper, each depicting the cover of the

  • Studio, 2007, two-channel color video, 38 minutes. Installation view.
    picks May 15, 2007

    Hilary Lloyd

    Studio, 2007, Hilary Lloyd’s latest work, is a film portrait of her new East London studio floor. It was made for this Berlin venue and is screened on two gallery walls as a silent double projection. The camera tracks the floor methodically, as if it were a surveillance device, remaining in each section for a while before moving on, sometimes with a sudden twist that shifts the perspective. At times, the movements of the two screens are synchronized, like a ballet, but they mostly follow an unpredictable choreography. The wooden planks bear traces of the studio's former tenant, a painter who

  • Robert Kusmirowski

    Known for his meticulous re-creations of places and spaces of the past, such as D.O.M., 2004, a reconstruction of a late-eighteenth/early-nineteenth-century Polish graveyard that he showed at Galerie Johnen in Berlin, Robert Kusmirowski here pushed his artful play with simulation and nostalgia to another level with a three-part scenario of fictionalized history, whose dense atmosphere is reminiscent of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979). In the first zone, still clearly recognizable as the museum entry with front desk, stood an old power mast and several displays of diagrams and technical drawings

  • 3 Musicians (Members of the Early Music Group “Renaissance Fare” Performing Matteo of Perugia’s ‘le Greygnour Bien’ at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, Late September 1977, 2006, three  painted aluminum light boxes with transmounted chromogenic transparencies, 143 x 62 x 7".
    picks December 12, 2006

    Rodney Graham

    Appropriately entitled “Renaissance Man. Works 1400–1977,” Rodney Graham’s current exhibition beautifully mimics the seamless loop in which cultural production is trapped. At its center stands a fictional Fluxus-era artist, whom we witness performing for a casual, alternative-art-space audience in Lobbing Potatoes at a Gong (1969) (all works 2006), a black-and-white 16-mm film. The potatoes that actually hit the gong during the performance were subsequently distilled to create a limited-edition vodka; the still and some of the bottles are on view here as well. This centerpiece is accompanied by

  • Luca Vitone

    White cube, black flag, carte blanche. . . these catchphrases recur as visual metaphors throughout Luca Vitone’s oeuvre, which investigates the meaning—and loss—of “place” within a globalized world. This major survey brings together works from 1988 to 2006, beginning with Vitone’s Carte atopiche (Atopic Maps), 1988–2004, geographical or city maps (or gallery floor plans, as in the series Il luogo dell’arte [The Place of Art], 1991–94), from which he removed street names and other indications of place. The exhibition is set up like a journey through the interconnected phases of the

  • Show of Strength II, 2006.
    picks November 14, 2006

    Willie Doherty

    The city of Derry, in Northern Ireland, is Willie Doherty’s hometown, and its fraught history is the constantly revisited and renegotiated site of his artistic oeuvre. In his latest video installation, laconically entitled Empty (all works 2006), Doherty scans the facade of an abandoned office building, producing moody, slow-motion images, filmed from dawn till dusk on a single day. We see paint peeling off the wall and changes in the weather—at times quite dramatic—reflected in the building’s windows, while that convulsive history (and the building itself) is left ambiguous, thus leaving space

  • Costa Vece

    In the picturesque baroque city of Solothurn, Costa Vece presented a dark take on the notions of cultural identity, religion, and Heimat (homeland), and, ultimately, on the very possibility of social inclusion. Born in Switzerland, the son of Greek-Italian immigrants, Vece seems to have experienced the chilly as well as the warm side of his home country. Yet he clearly retains a deep, if mistrustful, affection for its customs and traditions. His installation Heaven Can Wait (all works 2006) is made out of darkish gray wooden planks, recalling the covered bridges seen everywhere in the canton of

  • Tue Greenfort

    Producing a 1.5-liter PET plastic bottle wastes twice as much water as the bottle will hold. That’s the kind of fact you learn through the work of Berlin-based Danish artist Tue Greenfort, who is fascinated by the absurdities of our everyday ways of production and consumption, as well as by the smallest wonders of nature. But “learn” might give the wrong idea; Greenfort’s works aren’t didactic, finger-pointing lessons in ecologically correct behavior. Rather, his art is a smart, at times minimal but always playful and poetic investigation of how cultural and natural behaviors coexist and interact.