Lullin + Ferrari

Variety 1: wiedemann/mettler – body search

16 Mar - 13 Apr 2013

16 March - 13 April 2013

In our new exhibition series called Variety we are showcasing individual projects and curated group exhibitions with a short duration. The start of this series of exhibitions is made by the Swiss artist couple wiedemann/metter with their show called body search.
...and as it has, in its uniformity and boundlessness, nothing, but the space, towards the foreground, it is therefore, when you look at it, as if one's eyelids had been cut away.
Heinrich von Kleist

In the show body search wiedemann/mettler unfold a stunning dramaturgy. The prelude is given by a delicate, soft pink textile object with the title Bazooka. In the second room the public encounters the back view from 45 figurines, standing in file on a high pedestal. On their right hangs a large Hama-beads-image titled color search, in which the artist duo is sampling the tradition of colour field painting with other means. The picture generates a colourful harmony and cheerfulness.
This carefree, even happy first impression of the exhibition is broken short through the frontal view of the band of figurines – now the viewer sees that the eyes of each of the figures have been meticulously drilled through. The gaping holes disturb the bourgeois cosiness typically emanated from the tender figurines – it is as would the viewers been pierced by the nonexistent glance of the figurines. The exhibition by wiedemann/mettler has a strict dramaturgical structure, questioning and unmasking gridlocked ideas and concepts.
Annotations by wiedemann/mettler for the show body search:

A large, soft pink image object greets the viewer of the exhibition body search in the gallery Lullin + Ferrari. Plenty of small, white, different large dots overflow the soft cotton velvet. On a closer look the viewer detects, that the small spots have been burned into the fabric. Here the artists have not applied colour on a surface, but have with a bleaching base, the Javelle water, extracted colour from the textile. We consider this work as an inversed painting. We are partially removing from the ground of the textile colour pigments and are thus generating a structure, a pattern. During many hours small drops of Javelle water are dabbed with a small brush on the fabric. Bit by bit the acid bites further deep into the high pile textile and removes on this spot the colour. Light and bright the many colourless spots appear like dust of stars at sunset.

color search
A large colour carpet is attached to the wall. The rush of colours arches from the plane in all directions und seems like a flat body. The 108 colour fields follow a scheme: Neither the same two colours appear horizontally nor vertically on the same level. The textile imitating wall object consists of 90'828 single elements, which forms, ironed together, this colourful quilt of plastic pearls. The glory of colours glows into the room and depicts colour as body and material. Some of the colour fields are made of glowing pearls and draw into the dark patterns of mysterious, fluorescent spots.

body search
On a large rectangular high pedestal stand 45 figurines. All are turning their backs towards the viewer. Arranged by size they are presented like a fragile miniature army, well in file. Ballerinas, corpulent cherubs, divinities, dreamy figures of girls with small flower baskets, young men playing music, children. All there is, what the traditional porcelain manufactory produces ever since, is to be found in this precious ensemble. For some months we have bought on eBay from all over the world these figurines. The objects from America, Australia and Europe had been sent to us from their previous owners by post. Every single figure has its own story, unknown to us. The little puppet might have stood on a TV in Italy, on a shelf in Bonn or on a side table in Vermont. As silent witnesses they had watched the life of their previous owner. All figures made, more or less well wrapped, a long journey and all arrived unbroken to us. Often we received with the figures small letters and sweets. In one package we found next to a porcelain elf a package of crisps and little animals made of white chocolate. Maybe a gift for the elf on her long journey? After all figures arrived safely at our place we started work. With a special diamond drill we bored out the eyes of the angels and all other creatures. The applied sensitiveness is diametrically opposed to the drastic result of our enterprise. Black holes are embellishing the little faces. Where eyes looked lovely into the world, yawn now the equal holes, staring at the viewer. Sweet bibelot has been transformed through a minimal intervention into an impressive procession.

wiedemann/mettler, Zurich in February 2013
Since 2002 Pascale Wiedemann (*1966) and Daniel Mettler (*1965) work together consequently towards an oeuvre, that is in its complexity and diversity out of common.

Tags: Wiedemann/Mettler