Exhibitions at van Bartha gallery in Basel are a true delight for any visitor who is looking for an immersive and deeply engaging art experience. With every new show, the gallery space is transformed into a single work of art, where visitors become more than just passive observers. After John Wood’s and Paul Harrison’s installation that converted the gallery space into a labyrinthine network of rooms, Swiss artist Boris Rebetez will create an architectural intervention, changing the context of the gallery space in a different, but equally interesting way. For the exhibition titled Sitting on a Branch, Boris Rebetez brought together six more artists who share the same fascination with the concept of space to help him in this artistic endeavor.
The work of Basel-based multidisciplinary artist Boris Rebetez centers on the concept of space. His explorations of the phenomenon, embodied in different media from drawing to collage, installation, sculpture, and photography, relate equally to the physicality of space and the idea of space as a historical and theoretical concept. Small alterations in the gallery setting can have a great impact on the way visitors perceive the works exhibited and the gallery space itself. Rebetez is particularly interested in the artist’s role in shaping the visitors’ experiences and the way visitors, in an altered environment, become a part of the exhibition. His architectural intervention for Sitting on a Branch exhibition explores the way people respond to the slightest changes in the environment, finding themselves, not the artworks, at the center of the exhibition. Six artists will join Boris Rebetez on his quest, addressing the idea of space in unique ways.
The roster for Sitting on a Branch exhibition includes Daniel Robert Hunziker, Aglaia Konrad, Doris Lasch, Claudia Wieser, Bernard Voïta, and David Thorpe. Space-relevant artistic practices are an integral part of the work of Zürich-based artist Daniel Robert Hunziker who will present his sculpture Arch II/14 created out of found architectural objects and materials, exploring the relation between architecture and social structure of the urban society. Austrian artist Aglaia Konrad examines the way architectural experience can be generated in the cinematic medium. Her project titled Das Haus plays with the notions of windows and mirrors, the physical barriers between interior and exterior space and the blurred lines between the two. German photographer Doris Lasch will tackle the idea of constructed identity in a series of photographs showing different scenarios within her studio. Her intention is to show how viewers construct the ideal of the “artist’s persona” based on their interpretations of space. Following the path of Boris Rebetez, Claudia Wieser will also reinterpret the concept of the gallery space with her photographic mural that aims to transform the space around it. Swiss artist Bernard Voïta explores the notion of false interiors in his work Melencolia VI by deconstructing the compositions of his photographs, making them look more three-dimensional, like sculptures or collages. The last artist on the list is UK artist David Thorpe whose work is rooted in the intellectual tradition of Ruskin and Morris. His work for the exhibition is a series of sculptures titled The Protecting Army I-V that serve as the guiding points for the visitors.
The group exhibition titled Sitting on a Branch brings together outstanding artists in their search for the meanings of space in physical and conceptual terms. Sitting on a Branch will be on view at von Bartha Gallery in Basel from January 30th through March 26th, 2016.
Featured images: First two - Aglaia Konrad, Das Haus (ausgestellt). 16 mm Film transfered on video, Film Duration 21 min. Courtesy the artist and gallery Nadia Vilenne; Bernard Voïta, Le jardin d‘Omar II, 2014. Thermo lacquered Stell, Dimension Variable, max. 80 x 600 cm. Courtesy the artist and galerie Bob van Orsouw; Claudia Wieser, each UNTITLED, 2012. Linden tree, acrylic, gold leaf, various dimensions. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Sies Höke; Claudia Wieser, Furniture, 2012. Exhibition view Kiosk, Gent. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Sies+Höke