The works shown in Schio are wearable objects designed from old books and other historic materials, mostly made from Japanese washi paper. The transparent garments function as mobile shelters of the fragile memory. Covered in knowledge they teach about the social history of the clothing and the fragments of their texts. The artistically designed clothing addresses issues of gender identity, cultural authority, and social assignment.
The exhibition is organised as the 10th anniversary of theSwatch Peace Art Hotel and curated together with Hou Hanru, the artistic director of the Maxxi Museum in Rome. The opening happened to be on the same night with Sebastio Salgado’s show Amazonia.
Finally we could set up six of my paper works which will be presented at the Biennale in Schio, Vicenza in a couple of weeks. It was an easy ride to Italy and a very warm welcome at the Palazzo Fogazzaro.
Next to some of my garments you see the marble sculpture “The Weaver” by Antonio Tantardini from 1870. The figure of a young woman with a shuttle in her right hand has the intention of celebrating the ancient art of weaving, since the Fogazzaro family were textile industrialists. The female marble bust pictures Margherita of Savoy, Queen of Italy.
I am quite excited for the show as it is the first time that my works of such different residencies as Switzerland, China, Finland and Japan are shown together.
Selected by the Austrian Cultural Forum of Tokyo, photographs picturing three of my paper garments which I tailored in Onishi, Gunma were on display in Ginza, Tokyo. They are be shown together with the publication #JapanRevisited202x: then—now—after.
From June 8-13, 2021日本語 Suzuki Building, 1-28-15 Ginza, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
Morioka Shoten, the Bookshop With Only One Book. The “world’s smallest bookstore” and a cornerstone of Tokyo’s art book scene.The concept of the famous bookstore reshuffles the idea of how to browse and experience books altogether. Selling only one book which is carefully selected by founder Yoshiyuki Morioka and only displayed for one week
Despite the pandemic lockdown in Europe I got the chance to visit Finland and pursue my project in a secure environment at Serlachius Residency in Mänttä one hour east of Tampere. Right after the opening of my exhibition in February I could start the black and white photo portraits with my analogue equipment. For this occasion I used a Mamiya RB 67 loaded with Fujifilm Neopan. At home I started with the post production, developing the film negative and manipulating the chemical surface of the slides.
The two month residency in Finnland was quite successful with an exhibition and feature in the newspaper. My working conditions in the studio were near perfect and the footage in the local thrift stores turned out amazing. Only the cold temperatures with mostly minus 20 degrees became a challenge to my daily commute by bike.
In my constructional garments I try to define the space of intimacy and the margin of distance to express a self-consciousness without being exploited. The title of the exhibition “The Distance of Faith” is supposed to describe a new understanding of the embodiness of our own space. In current times we are manoeuvred in that experience by different believes of science and faith. For sure we learned recently a new measurement of intimacy and privateness. I like to address this new space of self-awareness by my garments and wearable objects. For some reasons Finnland is quite an interesting place to research this kind of personal distance. Traditional cultural behaviour may be one reason that the people here connect much better with the new indicated rules of personal distance. As they cope well with a scientific approach to handle isolation rather than flee in certain patterns of conspirational belief. Part of handling this moment may be rooted in their own mythology “Kalevala” which has shaped Finnish culture and the national feeling in ways that should not be underestimated. The Kalevala differs from other saga cycles that it focuses on the common people and its heroes are distinguished mostly by knowledge and the art of singing. In that sense I try to reflect parts of the local identity in my artistic approach to reflect the Finnish embodiment of the personal space.
To visit the Serlachius residency in Finland was a difficult trip. Due to the pandemic restrictions I had to quarantine for more than a week in Helsinki and Tampa. But reaching finally my destination it was worth the effort. Next to a lake and covered in freezing temperatures it turned out quite idyllic. What I had to find out the hard way was the distance between the studio and the apartment, a commute of 3km by bike and temperatures often below -20 degrees.
At the end of February I was able to hold an exhibition to show my recent work. The show was well attended despite some restrictions and was featured very prominently in the local newspaper.
A fresh insight into my most recent work from my Swiss exile. Reflecting on pandemic shelter. Working with the negative slides refreshes my memories of the summer in the Alps living in a Swiss castle. The poetic times are obvious gone, shelter and isolation is about to visit again. The analogue photography completes my works of paper clothes and taxidermic sculptures. Starting the project in March with Max Frisch‘s „Man in the Holocene“ I would like to finalize with a poem: In die Mulde meiner Stummheit leg ein Wort und zieh Wälder groß zu beiden Seiten, daß mein Mund ganz im Schatten liegt. Ingeborg Bachmann, 1953
Remembering Shanghai at the Swatch Peace Art Hotel I also think of all these interesting artists from all over the world which I met. Han Feng, a gifted painter who has also designed a collection watch for Swatch in 2019 was one of them. Our portrait session turned out quite well and this week I processed some old negative slides I never considered before. Hope you like the result. Yu Jidong 于继东 was another artist I learned to appriciate at the residency in Shanghai. Very humble, he introduced me to his family and his lovely daughter was a big help for my own art work research. And of course Soyung, a Korean artist which became a close friend of mine.
The Winter in Estonia was quite remarkable. My photographic work and exhibition worked out great. I was invited to a traditional wedding by one of my new friends where I danced for the first time in years. People were nice and warmhearted, maybe comes with the cold weather and the snow.
The photographic settings in Tallin, Estonia were one of a kind. For sure I had to improvise a lot, as the residency was one of the shorter ones with a duration of two month. At this occasion I was not so much into creating garments out of paper as the possibilities were quite limited. On the other side I could show some first prints at the exhibition in the end of my second Baltic residency.