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Kunsthalle Zurich Announces Kerstin Bratsch / Adele Roder Vorahnung [United Brothers and Sisters]

Kunsthalle Zürich presents Kerstin Brätsch / Adele Röder Vorahnung [United Brothers and Sisters] open 12 November 2011–15 January 2012.

Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder, who have presented their works in numerous exhibition and project formats in association with and under the banner of the collective DAS INSTITUT, present the first direct contrasting of their individual artistic positions at the Kunsthalle Zürich’s temporary home in the Museum Bärengasse. In a complex installation comprising reworked and fragmented elements from the architecture of the previous exhibition at the Kunsthalle Zürich, light elements and a new project with United Brothers which, again, takes up the idea of the collective, this show brings together paintings by Kerstin Brätsch and works by Adele Röder who uses a variety of media.

From the outset Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder’s works explore issues concerning the authenticity of artistic creation and the value and utility of art and artistic formulations. The polarisation between the deconstruction and confirmation of their own artistic practice and the instrumentalisation of both art and the person of the artist herself take place in their works, in their individual practice and in the various collective formats, with which they operate. The two artists repeatedly explore the theme of the virulent marketing of art and the persona of the artist today as occurs in corporate design and in image branding strategies. However, the importance of social networks and the accompanying effects of “viral marketing” are also made explicit.

With this exhibition in the Kunsthalle Zürich the two artists explore their instrumentalisation of and through DAS INSTITUT. After the recent presentation at this year’s 54th Venice Biennale and their participation in the exhibition project “Non-solo show, Non-group show” at Kunsthalle Zürich in 2009, the artists opt for a “disclosure” of their individual artistic approaches and, in this way, for the renewed confirmation of what individual creativity, ways of exchange and conveyance can make possible.

As conceptual works, the paintings of Kerstin Brätsch focus their attention on the performative aspect of artistic images today and the accompanying questions of presentation, distribution and the attribution of meaning. Her works are among the most exciting statements to be created in this medium in recent years.

In her works, Adele Röder operates with an abstract system of signs and symbols which she varies in numerous formal and material manifestations. Exploiting the possibilities but also conditions of digital “design” and production, she creates an artistic system that relates in its logic to the symbolism, exemplary nature and presence of signs while simultaneously exploring the ways in which they functions as the bearers of information in art, fashion and design.

The series Glow Rod Tanning_Interchangeable Paintings (Kerstin Brätsch für DAS INSTITUT), which is presented in the Kunsthalle Zürich in the Museum Bärengasse for the first time, consists of paintings on transparent polyester films which can be layered and combined to create constantly changing images. These are contrasted with abstract light and textile elements (Adele Röder for DAS INSTITUT). As a display system, the artists have created a complex construct of encounter but also of the varied translated “use” of their works: Kerstin Brätsch’s paintings and Adele Röder’s textiles adopt fragments and actual ruins of the exhibition architecture from the Kunsthalle’s previous show by Walid Raad. They have them dismantled and transform them into light benches and illuminated showcases. The artificial light opens up another level here: while the viewers are courted by this and associations with tanning studios are evoked, a disturbing complication in the encounter with the work of art also arises. Once again, the artists challenge traditional hierarchies through the “suffering” of painting evoked in this way. The presentation form of the light bench refers to a “consultation” with United Brothers (the artists Ei Arakawa and his brother Tomoo Arakawa, who runs the Blacky Iwaki tanning studio near Fukushima) and incorporates the exhibition into a research project—presented through the exploration of Abstract Anxiety—which culminates in the project “BLACKY Blocked Radiants sunbathed,” a collaboration between DAS INSTITUT and United Brothers.

Kunsthalle Zürich at Museum Bärengasse
Bärengasse 20-22
8001 Zurich
T +41 (0)44 272 15 15
F +41 (0)44 272 18 88
[email protected]

Image: Interchangeable paintings à la carte (Glow Rod Tanning Series).
Kerstin Brätsch for DAS INSTITUT & United Brothers, 2011.
3 layer mylars, 60 x 48 inches Photo: Mark Woods Courtesy Gavin Brown’s Enterprise

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