Posts Tagged ‘Andrea Zittel’

Out in the Margins

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Just back from the above Walensee, Switzerland, where Swiss curator Roman Kurzmeyer opened a show by young Swiss artist Kaspar Müller (on the right, next to Pedro Wirz). It wasn’t really a show, more a necklace for an old and small haystack surrounded by snow and nature. Roman runs Atelier Amden as an ephemeral institution since 1999 and presented installations by artists such as Polly Apfelbaum, Mai-Thu Perret, Pawel Althamer, or Anya Gallaccio. Standing up there in the snow, it made me realize how much nature has vanished from contemporary art—maybe rightly so. There was a time when artists traveled to remote places, dived into foreign cultures, and exposed themselves to nature and landscape for inspiration and renewal. To escape the city became one of the trademarks of the avant-garde, from Tahiti to the American desert, from Gauguin to the artists of Land Art. It was a research that was as ambivalent as it was fruitful, but tell me about today’s artists traveling to remote places! It’s all about the city where most of the world’s population lives. Yet, there is some stuff going on in the outskirts. Although artists (and curators) don’t get any more inspired by nature and the primitive (whatever this is), they build up structures in the so-called margins: Andrea Zittel’s High Desert Text Sites, Gela Patashuri’s TCCA Museum Without Wall outside of Tbilisi, Georgia, Transformazium’s project in Braddock/Pittsburgh, or Yto Barrada’s Cinéma Rif/Cinémathèque de Tanger in Tangier, Morocco.