Wilhelm Sasnal

Hauser & Wirth | Zurich

This show really began two days before its opening date, with a screening at a local movie theater. Painter Wilhelm Sasnal directed and also largely served as cameraman for Swiniopas (Swineherd), 2008, his first 35-mm film—eighty-five minutes long, black-and-white, in Polish with English subtitles. The work is surprising in several respects: The simple story, set on a dilapidated farm in postwar Poland, is presented in a straightforward manner but unleashes a drastic and relentless series of events, just like the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale whose title it shares. Characters—from the grumpy old man with the floppy hat pulled down over his eyes, carefully guarding his secrets, to the bespectacled young man who likes to draw while watching over his pigs, to the blond daughter of the old man and the girl from across the brook she is in love with—do not so much propel an overarching plot

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