Group Show

Group Show

Jun 02 – Jul 14 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

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