Critics’ Picks

View of “Marco Fedele di Catrano,” 2009.

View of “Marco Fedele di Catrano,” 2009.


Marco Fedele di Catrano

rue st. Martin 38a
January 31–March 1, 2009

“So Far So West,” curated by Federica Martini in this artist-run exhibition space, is Marco Fedele di Catrano’s first solo show in Switzerland and his third site-specific installation in which he superimposes the floor plan of his apartment in Rome over similarly sized spaces. Using north, south, east, and west coordinates, the artist builds brick walls that intersect and partially block the original architecture. His first intervention happened in a private apartment in Berlin, the second in a gallery in Rome. Here, in a former printing shop, the collapse of two different architectural realms (business and domestic) offers a striking spatial experience and interrogation. Wandering through the labyrinth of walls one begins to imagine in which part of the original buildings one could be standing and which space once served as the hallway, kitchen, or bedroom.

Other works that accompany the installation further explore the confinements of space in the social and political realm. The twelve photographs in Exchange, 2009, welcome viewers to the exhibition and present the constellation of stars that form the European Union logo. Although he initially hammered each star out of the plastered facade of the American Academy in Rome, the artist photographed and framed them individually so that the exposure of the underlying brick structure appears as a trompe l’oeil. In the back of the gallery, a photograph of Gülsün Karamustafa (Gülsün, 2008), the Turkish artist and activist who was prohibited from leaving her country from 1970 to 1986, depicts her in a speaking gesture, as if she were shouting, as heavy nails come out of her mouth. Around the corner, a video of a basketball silently moving between two staggered wall segments offers an innocent object virtually confined by space, followed by its own shadow.