Stefan Zucker

  • Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler

    A young woman arrives at a house in the middle of the night completely out of breath. She appears to be running from something. In front of her stands a large stone house, modernist in design, with a long wall of windows. All the lights are on. Inside, another woman is sitting at the piano, still dressed in an evening gown, her shoes kicked off. As she plays a sad piece, the camera pans across the remains of a festive evening—wineglasses, hors d’oeuvres—until the camera comes to rest on a photograph of a little girl. While this woman immerses herself in sad memories inside the house, the other

  • Ursula Biemann

    A Palestinian is living in a refugee camp somewhere in Lebanon. His wife is still back in their village in the occupied territories. He manages to slip out of the camp unremarked and crosses the border to return home. He sleeps with his wife and returns to the camp the next day. His wife becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child. This happens several times. In the village, the authorities speculate about this woman’s steady flow of offspring. The villagers know exactly what is going on.

    This story, from Ursula Biemann’s single-channel video essay X-Mission, 2008, exemplifies the subject of all

  • Chiharu Shiota

    What was so appealing about the Chiharu Shiota installation A Long Day, 2009, is the way the artist transformed the white cube into something completely unrecognizable. As is usual for her, this Japanese artist from Berlin filled the space by spinning a web of wool yarn that appeared penetrable but in fact took over everything. Behind the tangle of black, you could hear the clicking of computer keyboards and scraps of telephone conversations. The gallery had vanished behind the work. No going forward—that’s where the yarn was—but to retreat would just have meant walking back out of the gallery.

  • Jean-Frédéric Schnyder

    Jean-Frédéric Schnyder distinguishes himself from most other contemporary artists by the fact that he paints only what he has seen in person. No photographs, no Internet; real life is his model. He has to have been there—no matter what the weather.

    Less certain, however, is whether his humor always hits the mark. Sure, his 126 sunsets (“Sonnenuntergang” [Sunset], 1996), his 93 train-station waiting rooms (“Wartesäle” [Waiting Rooms], 1988–90), and his 119 views of highways (“Wanderung” [Walking Tour], 1993), all small-format paintings unfortunately not on display in this exhibition, are amusing.

  • Jochen Kuhn

    “Recently I visited a bordello for the first time. Well, actually it was an erotic massage parlor. That’s naturally beneath me. I don’t need anything like that.” A middle-aged man is troubled by moral misgivings as he goes to a brothel for the first time in his life. Wearing a trench coat and a hat, he worries that someone will see him; on the stairs, he meets his neighbor, who immediately asks: “What’s happening here? Are you going to the bordello?” Like the four films of the same title that preceded it, Jochen Kuhn’s fourteen-minute Neulich 5 (Recently 5), 2004, is a brief, absurd observation

  • Moser & Schwinger

    “I always anticipate what people want from me and I like to give them what they expect, but then something goes wrong every time.” With this reflection, Amanda Cook, a character based on Monica Lewinsky, ends her appearance in Time Flies, 2006, a recent video by Frédéric Moser and Philippe Schwinger. The piece, which lasts less than five minutes, is a cleverly compressed portrait of a woman who, having hosted a TV show, designed a handbag collection, and searched for God, is now reduced to walking around an empty theater and reflecting on her situation. Will she ever be able to marry a normal

  • Markus Raetz

    In 1969, Markus Raetz, then twentyeight years old, participated in the epochal exhibition “When Attitudes Become Form.” The entry of language into art as a medium in its own right brought early international recognition to the work of this crafty draftsman and word acrobat, and though Raetz recently installed a text object in a public space in Geneva, his earlier word-images have generally given way to optical experiments, as this retrospective exhibition, “Nothing is lighter than light,” shows. An example of this tendency is Kopflose Mühle (Headless Mill), 1993–2002. Two carousels turn in