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Kunsthalle Bern Opens MadeIn Company – Physique Of Consciousness Olivier Mosset – Born in Bern

Kunsthalle Bern presents the first solo-project in Switzerland of MadeIn Company (China), and an exhibition based on souvenirs of renowned Swiss artist Olivier Mosset. Open 9 April–19 June 2011 .

Since 2009 Shanghai-based artist Xu Zhen employs a pool of young artists under the moniker MadeIn Company, to conceive and execute vast quantities of work in a range of media. Derived from ‘Made In’, two words that refer to manufacturing (with country of origin not specified), the name also phonetically translates into Chinese for ‘without a roof’ (‘méi d˘ı∙ng’), thereby suggesting openness to the collective’s work.

Consistently seeking to push the boundaries of social and cultural assumptions and their relations to factual realities, MadeIn Company works with video, photography, installation, painting, collage and performance. Daring and controversial, the works challenge the viewer to validate truth.

The new project initiated by MadeIn Company, , is the first cultural fitness exercise ever made, composed of more than two hundreds steps and moves inspired from a hundred ceremonies, worships and traditions accumulated through the History of Humanity. As dance can be a form of expression and as ritual is usually linked to civilizations, the spiritual fitness Physique of Consciousness reflects the diversity of human ideologies. It combines physical and spiritual virtues, enhancing body conditions and well-being. Physique of Consciousness consists in ten exercises, as ten chapters, with a progression of levels from easy to hard. The whole set of exercise lasts for thirty minutes. Movements are flowing, peaceful and aesthetic, accompanied by a relaxing music. Open to any public, young people as much as elders, it has various benefits such as maintaining a healthy physical condition, strengthening muscles, joint mobility, and improving the immune system. It can also bring peace of mind, by relieving stress and providing a feeling of wellness. The diversity of the movements participates to the enhancement of memory and concentration.

Throughout history, exploration and control of body and spirit have always been a crucial matter, and the establishment of Physique of Consciousness results from research led by MadeIn Company on this topic, to provide a solution to the continuous antagonism between body and mind.
In the exhibition, Physique of Consciousness is presented through images and instructions. A demonstration by a teacher is planned at regular moments. An instruction manual in Chinese and English is available.

Physique of Consciousness will subsequently be presented at Long March Space, Beijing and Shanghart Gallery Shanghai, both People’s Republic of China.

Olivier Mosset was born in Berne, Switzerland, in 1944. That fact is also the point of departure of new series of works by the seminal Swiss artist at Kunsthalle Bern. Mosset will delve into his earliest memories of the city of his childhood and bring them back in an oblique way. Resident in the United States since 1977, Mosset now lives and works in Tucson, Arizona.

Notwithstanding the fact he was born in the Swiss capital, his career as an artist only rarely ventured via Bern. In the many catalogues or invitation cards accompanying his exhibition activity over the years, the phrase “Born in Bern” is the only referent to the city.

Though in Mosset’s words a show with youth memories cannot be but “very selfish”, it is about painting in the end. For to the artist the exhibition traces how you become a painter. Because: “You are not supposed to. It is not normal. It is a way things go wrong somehow, in relation to your family etc. And it all started because of seeing Rauschenberg’s goat at the Kunsthalle!”

A streetcar from the ’50s will be installed in front of the Kunsthalle as a readymade recalling a spectacular accident. The occupation of the Hungarian Embassy, or the final of the football world-cup in 1954, but also an early childhood memory of a series of odd plafond paintings with scenes from the bible… Mosset will tackle his memories with different representation strategies, including ready-made, photography and the publication of a newspaper, mocking Harald Szeemann’s Kunsthalle catalogues from the ’60s.

Mosset moved to France in 1962. For a brief period, he was associated with Daniel Buren, Niele Toroni and Michel Parmentier. From December 1966 until December 1967, the four artists publicly expressed their desire to break with institutional structures and recognised artistic models. During the same year, Olivier Mosset created several paintings featuring the same black circle on a white ground at the centre of a 1 x 1 metre square. Between 1966 and 1974, he produced about two hundred paintings of circles. The relationships that he created among shades of colour from 1976 progressively led him towards monochrome painting. In 1977, Mosset moved to New York. Although he never belonged to the “Néo-Géo” movement, Olivier Mosset maintained relations with these artists: Peter Halley, Helmut Federle and John Armleder. Olivier Mosset exhibited worldwide, a.o. in 1990, he exhibited in the Swiss Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Next to that his home country honoured him with a two-fold retrospective at the Museum of Fine Art in Lausanne and at the Art Museum St. Gallen in 2003.

The Kunsthalle Bern would like to thank Shanghart Gallery, Shanghai; Burgergemeinde Bern, Fondation Bonhôte, Neuchâtel and Kultur Stadt Bern for making these exhibition-projects possible.

Image: Olivier Mosset,MadeIn Company, “Physique of Consciousness,” 2011.

Kunsthalle Bern
Helvetiaplatz 1, CH-3005 Bern
[email protected]

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