Hans Rudolf Reust

  • Zilla Leutenegger

    A hotel on the moon: Under the black night sky, in the lurid light of the sun as it shines relentlessly on the surface of the moon, Zilla Leutenegger sits on the flat roof of the Forum Hotel and gazes into the endless lunar landscape of dusty seabed and craters. Through splintered vistas our view is directed to an unpeopled region at once strange and familiar. In long, slow sweeps we occasionally see the hotel from the exterior, as if we were flying toward it. It really is somehow reminiscent of that urban wasteland and the actual site of the Forum Hotel, Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. We see Leutenegger,


    With the decline of the utopian spirit and the demise of the “great narratives,” the word paradise has taken on an ironic undertone that it just can’t shake. I met Thomas Struth last winter at his apartment in the middle of Düsseldorf, overlooking a rather verdant courtyard. There we talked about his ongoing series of photographs of jungles and forests, in which the artist confronts the Edenic. His paradise is neither lost nor won—it has no innocence to lose. Rather, pluralized in a series of images, it embodies a phenomenon of viewing: the gaze losing itself in the branches only to be thrown

  • Bernard Voïta / Frank Thiel

    Bernard Voïta’s gray images remind one of Gerhard Richter’s paintings of black-and-white snapshots. But here it is photography that recalls painting, rather than vice versa. The alternation of blurred and perfectly focused areas evokes spaces that are unapproachable; in the viewer’s imagination they coalesce into land-, sea-, or cityscapes. The viewer tries to discern the houses, bridges, or waterways that are adumbrated here without ever being able to get a clear view. The images remain puzzling inner, rather than mimetic, landscapes.

    Only up close do the blurred contours suddenly give way to

  • Nic Hess

    Occupying a single large blacked-out room, Nic Hess’s expansive wall painting coalesced into its own galaxy. Or at least it seemed that way when one was drawn directly to the stars—gleaming a bit too brightly in the distance by dint of ultraviolet light—that dotted the far-left wall of the firmament. But this galaxy did not remain stable for long. The stars and streaks of light began to migrate off the large starry banner painted on the neighboring corner of the room. It was as if they were wandering across the side wall, only to become suddenly knotted up in the intertwining lines of

  • Candida Höfer

    For many years now, Candida Höfer has been photographing public or semipublic spaces in libraries, banks, museums, theaters, schools, and corporate offices, making pictures that offer glimpses of cities across the world and reflect the architecture of different time periods. In the process, she continually finds surprising images that could never have been made up. These are not pure architectural photographs, for more than the architects’ intent, however unprepossessing or spectacular, finds its way into the image; so too does the way the spaces are used every day. The absence of people does

  • Markus Raetz

    What exists—something? Or, more likely, nothing? Markus Raetz spatially unravels this ancient philosophical question literally, in sculptural alphabet letters, thereby raising the question of the standpoint from which they are observed: Depending on the viewpoint chosen, the Dutch word “iets” (something) or “niets” (nothing) may be read in the blocky architecture of a window lintel. The anamorphic object Dutch Window, 1996-98, was installed at eye level in front of one of the large windows so that the opposing concept is also always visible as a reflected image. In a single sculptural form,

  • Emmanuelle Antille

    As deep as our sleep, as fast as your heart, 2001, is the work of Emmanuelle Antille, a young artist from Lausanne, and it's an exciting departure from the sybaritic, ambient work of the Zurich circle around Pipilotti Rist and Ugo Rondinone, known for their atmospheric images and tapestries of sound. Doug Aitken's installations, with their disjointed narrative structures, seem a more appropriate comparison. But Antille blurs the definitions of genres even more radically. A simple plot, as if conceived for the kind of psychological drama at which John Cassavetes used to excel in his films starring

  • Stefan Banz

    FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE A BEE.” Muhammad Ali's motto was an apt description of his boxing style. Stefan Banz belongs to the generation of TV kids who grew up with global, live media events like the transmission of Ali's fights. Boxers and pop stars were way ahead of artists in the cult of stardom. For his part, Banz studied art history, worked as an art critic and theorist, and was curator at the Kunsthalle Luzem, which he founded. Now he presents himself as an artist, with photo series, videos, installations, paintings, and texts. Recently he brought the public two exhibitions, a

  • Rachel Khedoori

    The ground floor of the Kunsthalle Basel comprises a sequence of individual spaces, and that sequence lends filmic qualities to whatever is shown there. As one passes through the various rooms, a kind of linear narrative seems to be imposed on the individual works in a show. In this exhibition, Rachel Khedoori’s capacious cinema-based installations can indeed be followed like a film, maybe even a metafilm. In each individual work, though, the unity of space and filmic sequence is broken up. The projection is disturbed by sculptural and installed elements; distorting reflections alienate the

  • “Hypermental”

    THE TITLE OF AN EXHIBITION curated by Bice Curiger precedes it like a magical incantation, the better to drift and resonate in one's brain among the exhibition's wealth of works: “Endstation Sehnsucht” (A streetcar named desire), 1994; “Signs and Wonders,” 1995; “Birth of the Cool” 1997. Now the mental tuning is raised to a new level in “Hypermental: Rampant Reality 1950–2000. From Salvador Dali to Jeff Koons.” Where Surrealism was concerned with the paranoid-critical overturning of modern reality, its postmodern continuation, Curiger shows, exalts a world that has dispersed into a hybrid

  • Anselm Stalder

    Anselm Stalder’s exhibition is a topography of ideas, a dense network of pictorial, sculptural, architectonic, and urban references. It was publicly initiated with an action at the Zurich Paradeplatz, in the center of the Swiss financial world. Here, Stalder promoted his exhibition for several hours, wearing a sandwich board with the slogan: “Keine Dereguliering fir die Erfindung des Nebels” (No deregulation for the invention of fog). Art, which in the twentieth century went through a sort of deregulation of its own, has the potential to begin formulating rules again—in a kind of countercycle

  • Troy Brauntuch

    Untitled (Home), an unremarkable photograph from the backyard, a shot so casual it seems to have been chanced on, becomes in Troy Brauntuch’s hands a disturbing examination of the mediated nature of Images. The theme of the exhibition was expounded and an everyday melodrama was thoroughly explained even in the work’s reproduction on the invitation card: In the foreground of the yard, we see the cat’s food bowl; in the background, a dead bird lying on its back by a porch step. But the seemingly obvious causal connection was then called into question in other images in the exhibition (all works

  • Katrin Freisager

    TO BE LIKE YOU (Projection) (all works 2000) opens with a still of the narrow black box of a stage. From a flow of rhythmically dissolving shots, images of groups of slender young women come to the fore. Against the darkly painted wooden partition of the empty set, the models' light skin, plain underwear, and white stockings are brought into relief. They move or stand in choreographically precise poses, turn toward or away from one another, crowd together or separate. At times their focal point seems to be in the middle of the group. Only occasionally does one of the women cast a glance toward

  • “Mixing Memory and Desire”

    The more virtuality encroaches on daily life, the more art seems to want to reassure itself of its real space by way of exhibition architecture. The new Kunstmuseum Luzern, housed within Jean Nouvel’s Kultur- und Kongresszentrum (Culture and convention center), answers this trend by refraining it: In the middle of the city, between the train station and lakeshore. under a gigantic flat roof, Nouvel has built a fascinating sequence of volumes and cuts that look as though simulated on a computer screen. The lake is reflected in the prominent floating plane of the roof, while the cut to the sky

  • Smith/Stewart

    FIRST YOU WERE PLUNGED into sudden darkness and could see nothing. Then you began to make out the gallery's high-ceilinged industrial space. It had been turned into a cavern filled with the penetrating near-roar of electronically amplified breathing, a hum like that of a film projector, interrupted by occasional attempts at speaking. At opposite comers of this sound chamber, two hanging projection screens leaned toward each other: Godforsaken Hole/Free Hand, 1999. One of the black-and-white video projections showed a disembodied hand groping in the void, motioning in front of the camera as if

  • Alois Lichtsteiner

    Alois Lichtsteiner emerged as an artist around the time when the craze for “wild painting” was coming to its abrupt end. From the very beginning he combined figuration and the gesture of pure application of color with a determination to reflect on the medium of painting through painterly means. Time and again, working up his large impastoed surfaces, he would take his unfettered style of oil painting, his glistening brush marks, to the brink of abstraction, yet without ever giving up the memory of figurative representation. A blue field painted over a green one still evoked the archaic scenario

  • Stefan Gritsch

    A broad, loosely constructed platform of raw lattice and boards stands chest high at the entrance to the gallery. On it are grouped many hand-sized pigment-objects—layered polychrome cloth rectangles; squares poured in strict geometric layers; massive shards of color attached with paint to small cumbersome lump-complexes—and seeing them at this angle affords a distanced overview of them without diminishing the sense of their physical presence. As one’s gaze moves along the lined-up or overlapping elements, it becomes increasingly clear that this large untitled installation, 1999, serves one

  • Qiu Shi Hua

    The painting of Qiu Shi Hua inhabits the border between the visible and the invisible. Stepping into the hallway on the Kunsthalle’s upper floor, one was greeted by a series of nineteen panoramic paintings, landscape formations composed of a spreading white that at times breaks lightly into gray. On these surfaces painted with the thinnest layer of oil, the gaze loses itself as if it were sinking in, being steadily absorbed. Denied the ability to establish any kind of visual foothold, the viewer is thrown back onto him- or herself by the painting. Gradually, the finest contours of hills and

  • Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler

    At first, there is only a projection of darkness. Then, with dreamlike slowness, the camera pans across a doorway, giving us a glimpse into a room. Inside, we see a man busying himself with preparations for a move. He sweeps up, packs up a box, eats an apple. The room appears to be empty; he sleeps. Before we have finished looking, the camera reaches the other side of the door frame and a wall comes back into view, closing this short sequence of Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler’s video projection, Gregor’s Room II, 1999. For several moments, a dark emptiness takes possession of the image

  • Bruno Jakob

    Giving his monochromatic works titles like Unzipped, Contributed to the Air, Flickering Memory, and Mashed Potatoes (Still Collecting), Bruno Jakob evoked a range of images, from the abstract to the richly figurative, as well as a web of allusions to the history of painting. In the exhibition one was confronted, in different sizes and formats, with works on paper, canvas, and photo paper, all of which had been primed in various shades of green, either actually (in the case of the canvases) or “invisibly” (the artist claims the photo and paper works are green, though no color meets the eye). It