1. HOUSETAKENOVER at Milieu Bern, Münstergasse 6, Bern
July 7– August 6, 2022
Manuela Morales Délano
Curated by Violeta Burckhardt & Andreas Wagner
2. Adam Cruces “Eavesdropping” at Blue Velvet Projects
June 11 – September 3, 2022, Rämistrasse 3, 8001 Zürich
The oldest evidence of our ancestors’ first flirtation with constructing a line between the inside and outside, the wild natural and the domestic, is about 400,000 years old, the same period as a climate-altering lack of rain in the East African Rift Valley. The easily portable version of a shelter, the umbrella (not the tent), arrived much later around 2000 BC, and it was only in the last century that the white cube gallery space was born. In many ways that neutral box, beloved for highlighting non-objective culture, represents the epitome of a dichotomy that began with that first ancient step. A perfect abstraction of an anthropocene separation of human civilization and the wider world.
Adam Cruces’s work, for the past decade, has kind of quietly mined and blurred those lines, negotiating the ridiculousness of perceived normal use and the wonder that accompanies man’s attempts at illusion. Here he draws attention to the interiority of a gallery space, its sub-level location and the ways in which any cultural product wants to suggest the world outside the space it inhabits. In Cruces’s installation, those moments of exclusion become inverted, one is welcomed into a space and then left outside again. It speaks to mankind’s desire, once the basics of shelter and food and water have been attained, to always be where one is not.
The paintings here have been inverted too, a subtle switch which suggests a window, although painting has traditionally promised itself to be a window already. An equal illusion. Physically inside looking at an illusory inside, one witnesses the banal and stimulating ways voyeurism works. As with Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Rear Window,every portal mirrors the creator and viewer, their desires and fears. Sex, horror, cute and daily- the images pictured transcend the painting while being the painterly. Why else are they boxed in by their opposite? The hardedge, design, neo-geo. The flaming designs, borrowed from those of traditional Swiss alpine architecture, are related to the flags of Swiss mercenary groups from four centuries ago. Fear tactics to confuse an opponent’s men as if a burning hoard approaches.
Cruces’s works chart a globalized world in which folk cultures shift between the local and universal. The rain sticks, oscillating through thunder and calm, trace their origins to South America, yet many cultures have claimed them since. Humans have always been mesmerized with the ability to fake the real, from sounds to paintings to the scanning and 3d printing we are only beginning to dip our toes into. The extra and the ordinary.
The feeling of transportation inside the space, the moment of main character syndrome each viewer achieves, is a mental movie of aggregation. Film, for the same period as the white cube, and like theater before it, was thought to be the pinnacle of human illusion. CGI and VR are changing that rapidly, but it’s the simple fantasies and deceptions, sound and depth, which trigger our lizard brains the best.
From that first moment of separation, of creating an inside distinct from the out, we have vainly and effectively used those spaces to echo what was left behind. It can all be a bit dystopian. Fake windows in the basement, umbrellas no longer able to offer protection, food one can not eat. In a dry future, like drawings of a dodo bird, recordings and simulacrum of rain may be the only memory. This is an interior free of safety, but it also offers up a bigger truth. Beyond sustenance and protection from the elements, it’s culture and the arts which offer the radioactive mirror and a narrative way through. Humor and reality colliding into something like hope.
Text by Mitchell Anderson
3. David Hockney “Moving Focus” at Kunstmuseum Luzern
July 9 – October 30, 2022
David Hockney (*1937, UK) is one of the world’s most influential living artists. He rose to fame
during the 1960s for his carefree images of Los Angeles and during the following decade for his
life-size double portraits. As the first comprehensive exhibition of Hockney’s work in Switzerland, brings together more than 120 of the artist’s paintings,
drawings, prints and digital works dating from 1954 to today. Charting his early days as a student in London to his latest iPad drawings, it reveals Hockney’s delight in artistic experimentation and lifelong obsession with perspective.
Comprised chiefly from Tate’s collection, also features a number of important loans from public and private collections in Europe and beyond. At the heart of the exhibition are two monumental landscape paintings. (collection Tate is Hockney’s largest painting to date, measuring four and a half by twelve metres. Comprised of 50 individual canvases, it shows a view of the artist’s native Yorkshire shortly before the onset of spring. For weeks, the artist travelled to and from this scene, working outside on six to ten canvases at a time and assembling them back in the studio with the aid of computer software to register the progress of the work. , (collection Centre Pompidou), is a multipart landscape of a magical forest that cordially welcomes viewers with colourful leaves and vines. This bold and cheerful depiction anticipates Hockney’s later iPad drawings that appear in the exhibition as a sequence of video animations.
Also on show are Hockney’s iconic pool paintings, his painted and drawn portraits of friends
and family including the celebrated and two important suites of early etchings:
inspired by William Hogarth and whose release coincided with the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain.
As the exhibition reveals, Hockney’s focus is constantly moving as he repeatedly tries out new
styles to challenge our visual habits. Taking up the mantle of Pablo Picasso and other cubist
models of picture making, a body of Hockney’s work from the 1980s tackles the problem of how
to depict our world of time, movement and space on a flat surface. Here, the pergola of a Mexican hotel in is transformed into a wild thicket where different vanishing points are aimed at simultaneously and there is no longer a fixed standpoint. In Hockney takes a stand against one-point perspective. He depicts a chair from the ‘wrong’ perspective, i.e., with the vanishing point in front of the object. Behind it, a chair depicted correctly from a central perspective is struck out by means of a bright red cross. A group of the artist’s most recent works, including , take the artist’s
obsession with the multiple realities of three dimensional space to dizzying new heights. Comprised of 3,000 digital images, this panorama of the artist standing among old and new
paintings in his studio is not simply a photograph, but is, as Hockney describes, a “photographic drawing”. As he concludes: “Most people feel that the world looks like the photograph.
I’ve always assumed that the photograph is nearly right.”
curated by Fanni Fetzer and Helen Little
4. World out of Joint 9 Installations at Kunstmuseum Winterthur
May 21 – August 14, 2022 | Beim Stadthaus
Climate change, pandemics and countless conflicts are leading to a fundamental disorientation that characterises our times: The world seems to have fallen apart. Traditional explanations are no longer adequate to deal with the complexity of the present, which oscillates between digital communication and radical individualism, past, present and an uncertain future. Disoriented between innovation and tradition, Western society is in permanent crisis mode.
Art reflects these phenomena and develops its own strategies for dealing with them. Especially in large-scale installations, the audience is confronted with an abundance of information and events that simultaneously test their receptivity. The clear distinction between artwork and audience dissolves in favour of multimedia spaces in which the internet and digitalisation take on leading roles. Installations are no longer viewed, but experienced; they set an interactive process in motion that also facilitates a variety of approaches.
The exhibition unites installations by nine international artists of the younger generation. All the installations deal with different aspects of content, whether artificial intelligence, ecology or gender fluidity. They illustrate that social questions can no longer be answered in a valid way. Each one forms a cosmos that lives from the interplay of time and space, of different objects and media formats. This inner density is continually co-produced by the audience as it arranges and assembles them according to the situation. Together, the nine installations create the image of a world that has come apart at the seams, in which ambivalences have to be endured to the point of pain – in order to interpret them productively.
Room IV, 2021
Old Food, 2017
An Invitation to Disappear, 2018
Games of Decantralized Life, 2018
Lizzie Fitch / Ryan Trecartin
Auto View (Sibling Topics), 2011
Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni
The Everted Capital (-585 – 2022), 2022
Anamazon (Green, Blue, Green), 2017
Fuge meam propinquitatem!, 2020
Curator: Lynn Kost
Have a great summer & see you in fall!