GROUP SHOW

Off the Beaten Track
Jun 02 – Jul 14 2012
von Bartha, BASEL

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Installation view, 2012 von Bartha, Basel
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Installation view, 2012 von Bartha, Basel
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Installation view, 2012 von Bartha, Basel
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Installation view, 2012 von Bartha, Basel
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Installation view, 2012 von Bartha, Basel
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Installation view, 2012 von Bartha, Basel

with: Chris­t­ian Ander­s­son, Char­lotte Beaudry, Andrew Bick, Terry Hag­gerty, John Wood/Paul Har­ris­son, Daniel Robert Hun­ziker, Clare Kenny, Jan Kiefer, Per­rine Lievens, Mike Meiré, Sirous Namazi, Karim Noureldin, Sarah Oppen­heimer, Boris Rebetez, Mag­nus Thier­felder, Bernar Venet, Beat Zoderer

curated by: Lena Friedli and Ste­fan von Bartha

The moment an idea takes shape, a con­cept is devel­oped or a work is born, seems to me one of the most pre­cious. As long as some­thing exists as an idea, it is vague and frag­ile. Through its real­i­sa­tion, how­ever, this fragility gains clar­ity; it becomes con­crete and tan­gi­ble. When an idea ulti­mately receives res­o­nance — in art that would be an audi­ence — its exis­tence is com­pleted by the per­cep­tion it gains through it. The afore­men­tioned vague­ness and fragility of the as yet imma­te­ri­alised ideas, also turns a visit to the stu­dio into a spe­cial moment in the process of exhibition-making. In the stu­dio, new works are cre­ated, old and rejected items are taken up again and ideas take shape. The Eng­lish expres­sion off the beaten track is used in a spatial-geographical con­text of remote­ness. In the sense of “dis­place­ment”, “far fetched”, or “pecu­liar”, the expres­sion can often be metaphor­i­cally used and serve many descrip­tive pur­poses. Whether it is in the per­cep­tion of an object, a piece of archi­tec­ture, a loca­tion or an action, again and again we come across things that irri­tate us despite a given con­text that is known to us. Some­thing may be dif­fer­ent, even though we know it: astound­ingly new, some­how strange, sur­pris­ing or per­haps even shocking. The group exhi­bi­tion off the beaten track thus uni­fies the inti­mate moment in the stu­dio with the man­i­fested, real exhi­bi­tional con­text through a per­sonal, pro­found glance into the respec­tive artis­tic expres­sion. Secret, rejected and unfin­ished works, snap­shots or things from ear­lier phases of cre­ativ­ity come to light. Con­fronta­tions of two respec­tively coher­ent works are cre­ated in dia­logue with the artist, which once they are cou­pled together, become diver­gent. Off the beaten track there­fore con­tains both the famil­iar path and also the rough ter­rain. A gen­er­ally known work, a work with so-called recog­ni­tion value is con­trasted with the non-concordant and unusual. The idea of an artis­tic sig­na­ture, of a con­sis­tent line as an impor­tant char­ac­ter­is­tic of qual­ity in the art world is scru­ti­nised. The imme­di­ately recog­nis­able is not of inter­est; rather, it is the aston­ish­ing and sur­pris­ing, the new and the dif­fer­ent. With the real­i­sa­tion of off the beaten track, a test of courage is asso­ci­ated with dar­ing to go on shaky ground; more pre­cisely, on rough ter­rain, and then to exhibit it anyway.

Text: Lena Friedli