1998 – 2010 1997 – 2000
kunsthale roggwilwynau k r -w 11. August 1997 – 30. April 2000 Off-Space / Former train station kiosk in Roggwil-Wynau
16–02–1998 Bijoux or a kind of walk-in magic box, installation by Vreni Spieser 23–03–1998 Gabriel Wernly plays DAS ABENDLIED (THE EVENSONG) for violoncello solo by Josef Haselbach (*1936) 27–04–1998 Coincidences, installation on the death of Sissi, Empress of Austria, curated by Beat Gugger, with Sarah Masüger and others. 08–06–1998 Mothers’ Day I – traversing a plane, installation by Peter Schneebeli
Agatha Zobrist, Adi Blum, Andri Köfer, Barbara Meyer Cesta, Claudius Weber, Ewald Trachsel, Fredi Hüberli, HansStalder, Martin Kunz, Ralf Samens, Rudolf Steiner, Robert Hess, San Keller, Theres Wäckerlin, Vreni Spieser on a platform enabled by San Keller, took place to the exclusion of the guests. 05–07–1999 the white performance, performance by Peter Brand (p.c.b.) 18–08–1999 Silence after the Bang – an unrealised exhibition project about visions and utopias by Beat Gugger
14–09–1999 (entre acte), drinks on the roof of k r-w, guests: cantonal art commission, service: San Keller 27–09–1999 O.T., performance by Agatha Zobrist and Theres Waeckerlin 02–11–1999 Tables by Agatha Zobrist and Theres Waeckerlin 19–02–2000 4th night time hike, by San Keller 29–02 bis 30–04–2000 Wet Cube, by Haus am Gern: every Friday night steam bath at k r-w
21 art events to last the night, regardless of the weather, curated by and by invitation of Haus am Gern in the former train station kiosk at RoggwilWynau. Participating artists and other experts:
Prof. Dr. Christian A. Meyer, Ewald Trachsel, Vreni Spieser, Gabriel Wernly, Beat Gugger, Peter Schneebeli, Hüberli/ Hess/Kunz & Köfer, Marie BirchlerSuchankova & Milos Pospisil, Peter Staiger, Georg Traber, San Keller, Sara Masüger, Adi Blum, Claudius Weber, Hans Stalder, Ralf Samens, Agatha Zobrist & Theres Waeckerlin. The guest list was extended according to the snowball principle. Events: 11– 08 –1997 Condolences,
installation by Rudolf Steiner
08–09–1997 in situ,
installation by Barbara Meyer Cesta 20–10–1997 about death, decay and desintegration, slide performance by Prof. Dr. Christian A. Meyer 15–12–1997 Kunstschnee, installation by Ewald Trachsel 22–12–1997 the nativity, animated reading by Ewald Trachsel / Rudolf Steiner
(Bed & Breakfast), by rsbmc 23–11–1998 Arme Leuchte Küche, Kelvinator-based intervention by Hüberli, Hess, Kunz und Köfer 21–12–1998 More Light!, installation by Marie Birchler-Suchankova & Milos Pospisil 01–02–1999 FridayAquarium, by Peter Staiger 29–03–1999 Heinz builds, performance by Georg Traber 03–05–1999 Standing still in one place, with San Keller 28–06–1999 the exception, conversation with invited guests
1998 – 2010 (in progress)
Self Portrait as an Artist Couple 1998
Rennbahn / Stausee
(Racing track/Reservoir) Drawing, ca. 3 x 10 m, bitumen Christmas Exhibition, Kunsthalle Bern
Using fluid bitumen, Haus am Gern drew an uninterrupted line across the floor of the Kunsthalle. One half of the line extended into the central hall, the other into a room to the right. In this latter space, the work was labeled as STAUSEE by Barbara Meyer Cesta, while in the central hall it was titled RENNBAHN and attributed to Rudolf Steiner.
RÉDUIT Temporary installation Cardboard, papier, adhesive tape MAC-Voix off Lausanne
A kiosk in Lausanne was to be demolished to make room for a new development. Prior to its destruction it served as a makeshift exhibition space. Camouflaging it with cardboard and paint, Haus am Gern turned the kiosk into a bunker, eradicating it even before it was levelled to the ground.
Honey, Toast & Sunshine
Honey, Toast & Sunshine Remote-controlled space ship (Blimp), modified toaster, honey and butter JOINT VENTURE! A benefit auction in support of a new Museum of Contemporary Art Bern, in the context of the Christmas Exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bern
For JOINT VENTURE! Haus am Gern offered the sensation of a “sunny sunday morning”. The ingredients: a remote-controlled space ship (which could only be flown inside the Kunst halle by licensed curators), as well as a modified toaster that branded the sliced bread with the word Gern. The public was invited to feast on bread, butter, and honey.
The Laughter Performance / Video installation Transport crate with monitor, DVD 30 min.; silent projection, DVD loop 3:07 min.; CD and Player Marks Blond Black Cube@White Space 2005; Barcelona Arte Contemporanea BAC 2000 “Video a la carte”, conceived by San Keller und Dorothea Strauss, Restaurant Schnell, Rorschach
Equipped with a mobile monitor, Haus am Gern travelled in Switzerland and Barcelona on foot and asked people on the streets whether they wanted to watch a particularly funny cartoon*. Those who did were filmed as they watched. The video portraits of the viewers (with the original cartoon sound track in the background) are shown on the screen of the mobile monitor while the cartoon is shown as a silent projection.
*Stripy (Bruno Bozzetto 1984), is a cartoon series produced for Swiss television in Italian language. Stripy is a colorful hybrid creature with an infectious laugh. The victim of his tricks is an ugly, grumpy man who is infected by Stripy’s hysterical laughter at the end of every episode.
2001 (in progress)
ART PROCESS INSPECTOR 2001
Y R A Young Responsible Artists Corporation founded on 15 May, 2001
The opening of the Swiss national exhibition, EXPO (the last took place in 1964), should have taken place on 15 May 2001 on a platform called Arteplage (a hybrid of art and beach) in Biel/Bienne. However, the EXPO art director, the famous Swiss artist Pippilotti Rist, withdrew from her contract and the whole project was re-scheduled to open in 2002. Haus am Gern asked performance artist San Keller to build a second Arteplage by the Arteplage construction site on the shore of lake Biel (“San Keller will build you a house within 24h using material he finds close by”). On the originally intended opening day of the EXPO, Haus am Gern gathered with other artists on the Arteplage for the foundation of the Corporation YRA Young Responsible Artists. Haus am Gern’s Art Process Inspector API led the opening ceremony. All artists present became members of the YRA. YRA is a corporate body of artists between 20 and 30 years of age with strong conservative values. One’s age may be freely chosen. YRA members must sign the YRA Manifesto and practice their anger by keeping to a strict schedule of three angry days a month. Each YRA member commits to acquiring a new YRA brother or
sister. YRA members recognise each other through secret signs and the smile of the Mona Lisa. New members may join by registering at www.yra.ch.
verdict, he blessed the work of those artists who had agreed to it – and sub sequently the entire exhibition. This took place while the art commission of the Canton of Bern was concluding the business of its yearly acquisitions.During the exhibition, a group photograph of Haus am Gern, Bernhard Fibicher and the priest Monseigneur Krystian Gawron made reference to the intervention.
Performance, Audio-CD 9. OneNightStand©, an art project by Gertrud Genhart, Marianne Rinderknecht and Edith Hänggi Hôtel Club, La Chaux-de-Fonds
The concept of OneNightStand was to put up a handful of artists at a hotel for one night only, during which they could realise a project that would be
A Blessing for Art Intervention, photograph, inkjet print 23 x 32 cm on Hahnemühle paper, A3, embossed, framed.
Haus am Gern was invited by a jury to take part in the traditional Christmas exhibition for regional artists at the Kunsthalle Bern. Haus am Gern offered all the participating artists the oppor tunity of having their work blessed by a catholic priest. Some artists explicitly refused this offer. Before conducting the ritual, Monseigneur Krystian Gawron took a tour of the exhibition with Haus am Gern and the Kunsthalle’s director Bernhard Fibicher, to examine whether the work was indeed godly enough to be blessed. After reaching a positive
Leaving On A Jet Plane
Leaving On A Jet Plane
accessible to the public the following day. Haus am Gern invited the curators as well as the other artists involved, Andreas Helbling (Zurich), Judith Huber (Lucerne) und Denis Schneider (Neuchatel) to their hotel suite, now
Musée en Grève (MUSEUM ON STRIKE)
BLANKO Conceptual intervention 1st attempt; for x-mas+ 2002, CentrePasquArt Biel/Bienne
A Blessing for Art
re-fashioned into a makeshift soundstudio, where a cover version of John Denver’s song “Leaving On A Jet Plane” was recorded under the plentiful influence of alcohol. The song is available on CD at edition Haus am Gern.
In the context of the 2002 Christmas exhibition, Kunsthaus CentrePasquArt’s Salle Poma, the museum’s largest gallery (6 x 19 x 6 m), was made available for the first time to artists submitting to a public art contest. The director made her personal selection. In their project, Haus am Gern requested blank endorsements to BLANKO from eighty-eight key players in the contem porary Swiss art scene (museum directors, curators, gallery owners). The signatures, blown up to monumental size, were to adorn the gallery walls. Forty-eight people – more than half of those who had been asked – were willing to donate their signatures. The director, however, opted for a different project.
BLANKO RELOADED Artist book by Haus am Gern Artists Collective; hard cover binding with gold leaf and embossed printing, 11 x 16 cm; 100 pages; 1 copy; Edition Haus am Gern (Collection video-company.ch)
The authors in the collective: Yves Aupetitallot, Stefan Banz, Ralf Beil, Bernhard Bischoff, Jacqueline Burckhardt, Marianne Burki, Mario Casanova Salvioni, Edmond Charrière, Bice Curiger, Silvie Defraoui, Beate Engel, Bernhard Fibicher, Peter Fischer, Erika & Otto Friedrich, Victor Gisler, Urs Graf, Bob Gysin, Matthias Haldemann, Alex Hanimann, P.-H. Jaccaud, Claudia Jolles, Philipp Kaiser, Kaskadenkondensator, Peter Kilchmann, Nicolas Krupp, Susanne Kulli, Markus Landert, Friedemann Malsch, Simon Maurer, Thomas D. Meier, Urs Meile, Bernhard Mendes Bürgi, Mark Müller, Heike Munder, Peter Pakesch, Valentine Raymond, Beatrix Ruf, Nadia Schneider, Madeleine Schuppli, Reinhard Storz, Beat Stutzer, Harald Szeemann, Walter Tschopp, Philip Ursprung, Bob van Orsouw, Nicola von Senger, Marc Olivier Wahler
BLANKO RELOADED was a continuation of project BLANKO. The cards bearing the BLANKO signatures were bound and gilded. All signatories were declared to be members of the Haus am Gern Artists Collective. The book was presented at the traditional Christmas exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bern, whose director Bernhard Fibicher dedicated the show to artistic co-operation and to the “promotion and/or provocation of collectively created works”. The sales price of the book was based on its weight in gold (at the day‘s rate).
On the occasion of the reopening of the fine art museum at Aarau and the inauguration of the extension by Herzog & de Meuron, the town of Aarau celebrated a culture festival. During the two days of the event, Haus am Gern placed a tractor of the brand DEUZ FAHR (Model Agrotron 120 Flame) outside the Aargauer Kunsthaus. On Saturday and Sunday, a group of art history students and artists surveyed the festival public’s attitudes to art in connection with Haus am Gern’s work FALLADA. The questions and answers were as follows: Have you ever heard of FALLADA? (13% YES). Can you relate to this kind of art? (31.7% YES). Do you think it is right that these artists are awarded an art prize from the City of Bern at this time? (44.2% YES). Would you welcome it if the Aargauer Kunsthaus were to invite these artists for an exhibition? (77.4% YES). Would you like a flyer signed by rsbmc? (61.3% YES)
FALLADA Poll Public Questionnaire Carried out by Vanessa, Gabriel, Urspeter, Nathalie, Priska, Franz, Franziska and Annette. Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau.
THE PRIZE, WARP, OFFER, SPLASH Intervention, Mixed Media Kunstmuseum Bern
Haus am Gern was awarded the Price by the Art Commission of the City of Bern for 2003. For the award ceremony at the Kunstmuseum Bern, the artists conducted four interventions without prior consent of the management. Haus am Gern slightly adjusted the sign outside the museum, turning Kunstmuseum Bern into Kunstmuseum Gern (PRIZE). Zeus and Athena, the two large rotund medallions on the facade of the building, were covered up with portraits of Rudolf Steiner and Barbara Meyer Cesta, freely referencing Bruce Nauman’s Self Portrait as a Fountain (SPLASH). On the first floor, a traditional smoked ham (a gift to the Stiftung Kunst Heute, an association of art collectors in Bern) was hung among the many oil paintings of hams (OFFER). That autumn, a large cloth sheet hung in the staircase to protect the receptionist from the draught. Haus am Gern declared this cloth a ready-made (WARP). During his speech, the museum’s director expressed his pleasure at these interventions at no cost to his institution, and presented the cloth to Haus am Gern with the request to maintain it as a gift to the museum’s collections.
KEY Conceptual intervention 2nd attempt; for x-mas+ 2003, CentrePasquArt Biel/Bienne
In the context of the 2003 Christmas exhibition, Kunsthaus CentrePasquArt‘s Salle Poma, the museum’s largest gallery (6 x 19 x 6 m), was made available for the second time to artists submitting to a public art contest. The director again made her personal selection.
Haus am Gern again submitted a project in which they suggested to close off the (otherwise empty) gallery space with a richly decorated wrought-iron gate. The inscription on the gate was to be: THE DIRECTOR HAS THE KEY. The director, however, opted for another project.
Fremder Sender (Jammer) 1. January – 31. December 2004 Curatorial intervention, DalvazzaCD Edition in 15 parts, in a slipcase with accompanying booklet, ISBN 3-9522196-5-7 Exhibition FREMDER SENDER, Stadtgalerie Bern, 2005
In a small valley near Davos, Haus am Gern installed a container as a workplace and residence for one year. They invited 29 Swiss and international artists to work on an audio project on site. As CD’s, these ‘transmissions’ were sent out per post to various subscribers each month. Over the course of a year, this amounted to a box collection encompassing 15 transmissions and an accompanying
booklet about the making-of and with additional work and performances that took place througout the year in and around the container. An installation at the Stadtgalerie Bern in Spring 2005 presented the entire project. Participants: Patricia Bucher; Andres Bosshard; Franz Dodel; San Keller; Andreas Helbling/Zeljka Marusic; Severin Hofmann (A); AZORRO supergroup (PL); Lydia Möst (D); Peter Vittali/Marianne Schuppe; Oscar Wiggli; Beat Gugger/ Urs Notari; Dr. Thomas Herrmann (D); Tilo Steireif; Cristina Ohlmer (D); Richard Schindler (D); Fredie Beckmans/ Yntse Vugts (NL); Effi & Amir (IL/B); Peter Clemens Brand; Köfer& Hess; Florian Germann; Vreni Spieser; René Zäch, Haus am Gern
FREMDER SENDER: Exhibition at Stadtgalerie Bern
Travelling in the Transmission Zone 700 photographic portraits, dimensions variable
As part of the project FREMDER SENDER, Haus am Gern commissio ned the artist René Zäch to build an aerial. The result is so practical that Haus am Gern gave it to people they met while travelling in the transmission zone of the FREMDER SENDER and took their portraits with it. FREMDER SENDER: Exhibition at Stadtgalerie Bern
FALLADA 475 Intervention, Installation, Peformance Performance: Agnes Darenius I NEED YOU / Zum Zusammenspiel zwischen Kunst und Publikum CentrePasquArt Biel/Bienne
Haus am Gern’s 2003 project, FALLADA, was to be documented in the exhibition I NEED YOU at CentrePasquArt Biel/Bienne. Haus am Gern tried to clarify the project’s provocative nature in a new performative piece. A 25 meter long drawing on the subject was presented in a glass showcase. Before the press conference, Haus am Gern (dressed as members of the KuKlux-Klan) shattered the glass panels protecting the drawing, and scrawled the number 475 (the type number of the tractor in FALLADA) on the wall. In a performative act during the opening event, a woman (already depicted in the drawing) chained a tractor tire to the CentrePasquArt building. Both perfor mances were unannounced and sur prised the museum management and the audience alike. The video recordings of the two performances, as well as a computer presentation about FALLADA, were installed next to the showcase.
The Hook Lecture performance with various players Galerie X, Zurich (name known, but cannot be disclosed here)
In May 2004, graduates of the master’s program in cultural management at the University of Basel were hosted by a well known gallery in Zurich. Haus am
Gern was invited to present on the topic “The art of living off and with art. The artists Rudolf Steiner and Barbara Meyer Cesta Haus am Gern presented a discussion of self-marketing and selfmanagement, sponsorship committees, mile stones in their biographies, the art market, art criticism and art as such”. As Rudolf Steiner and Barbara Meyer Cesta took their commission personally, literally and therefore seriously, they publicised the event online in advance, using the name and logo of the gallery. Therefore, outsiders appeared at the gallery on the day of the presentation, although it was closed the public at the time. Rudolf Steiner and Barbara Meyer Cesta commissioned Haus am Gern’s
Art Process Inspector, Dr. Peter Vittali, to set up a multimedia introduction, and brought along the Haus am Gern monkey, cared for by assistant Florian Germann. After an equally introductory and confusing lecture by Dr. Peter Vittali (www.openfocus.ch), there followed a conversation with Rudolf Steiner and Barbara Meyer Cesta moderated by MA student Beat Hugi. It was concluded that the artists may have conceived their entire presentation, including internet distribution, selfmarketing and self-management, as an art work. The MA graduates were visibly excited and gratefully accepted the giveaways by Haus am Gern, fridge magnets sporting de-contextualised quotations from an article in the weekly paper Weltwoche by critic Claudia
Spinelli. Unfortunately, Florian Germann had to take the monkey outside for fresh air towards the end of the conversation, despite protests from the audience. The animal was so excited that not even sugar had a calming effect. Addendum: Gallerist X and his assistant, also a graduate of the MA program, later repeatedly and vehemently refused to be associated with Haus am Gern and asked Haus am Gern to hide their names.
“The hare’s luck is the hunter’s sorrow” teaches a famous German proverb. It takes a good shot, a straight hit, to turn hare into roast: the near miss is painful to the hunter but not to his target. It’s the same for the artist. He has to score hits, for his audience wants to be struck: “From the beginning I was trying to see if I could make art [...] that was just there all at once. Like getting hit in the face with a baseball bat. Or better, like getting hit in the back of the neck. You never see it coming; it just knocks you down” (Bruce Nauman, 1987). For what is a work that narrowly misses its goal? A not-quite-masterpiece – and can you imagine worse than a not-quite-masterpiece? But it is precisely here that happy circumstances coincide: artist and audience both want the goal, the hit, they want it now and if possible, they want it together. The question remains as to who is hunted, who is turned into roast – the artists or their audience? By aiming at the target but never pulling the trigger, Rudolf Steiner and Barbara Meyer Cesta cunningly avoid this trap: because their works in the Display gallery are neverquite-masterpieces but what remains is art, either way. Trmasan Bruialesi, Berlin
BauBüro (Construction Office) 6.5 – 24.10 2005 / Off-Off-Space In the courtyard of PROGR Centre for Cultural Production, Bern
BauBüro was not a conventional space for exhibitions or interventions, but a hybrid object of desire, irony and annoyance that reacted flexibly to existing structures and situations and therefore represented the unknown factor in the PROGR culture equation. 6. Mai – 5. Juni 2005: San Keller (Zurich), Strangers in the Room San Keller’s audio production played the sounds of a party from inside the locked container around the clock. 6. – 30. Juni 2005: Haus am Gern, The devil always shits on the largest pile – secret show on demand about a Hitler bust at Schloss Worb near Bern. 9. August 2005: Fredie Beckmans (Amsterdam), Humbolts Hat Following a lengthy spiritual dialogue with natural scientist and explorer Friedrich Heinrich Alexander Freiherr von Humboldt (1769 –1859), Beckmans presented the lexicographical- ideolo gical paintings produced in the course of this exchange – and, of course, Humbolt’s hat. 27. August 2005: Rudolf Steiner (Biel/ Bienne), The Bern Voyeur Diaries I–XX, 8 hours non-stop super 8 found footage.
10. September 2005: Beat Gugger (Luzern/Burgdorf), silence_after_the_ bang, performative guided tour through an unrealised exhibition about utopias.
NEAR MISSES Installation Mixed Media DISPLAY gallery Prague
24. Oktober 2005: BauBüro was offered for sale by email to institutions, art spaces, galleries and cultural producers in Switzerland and through out Europe. It was finally sold to the F + F School for Art and Media Design in Zurich.
On 24th October BauBüro was transported from Bern to Zürich and inaugurated with a farting performance by Haus am Gern’s monkey.
KLAPS (Slap) Video installation Interactive video installation, DVD Loop 10‘, lamps, sound activated switch, installation variable Marks blond yellow submarine@ Sammlung HÄUSER UND WIR Zurich 2005 Lokal.int Biel/Bienne 2007, SUBSTITUT Berlin 2008
In a looped short excerpt from the film Le Cassé (Henri Verneuil, 1971), Azad (Jean-Paul Belmondo) slaps his film-partner Lena (Dyan Cannon). As in the movie, the lamps distributed in the exhibition space react in real time to the slaps and cries on the soundtrack, because they are linked by a sound activated switch. The public could also try to turn on the lamps by clapping and screaming.
CARTE BLANCHE Intervention Stretch limousine, polaroid photos, mirror Group show with MARKS BLOND HOTEL at Betonsalon, Paris
At the exhibition opening, Haus am Gern parked a stretch limousine directly outside the entrance to Betonsalon, an off-space in Paris. The guests had no choice other than to climb through the limousine if they wanted to see the show. Polaroid photos taken by the guests during the exhibition documented this intervention.
2005 (in progress)
The Telekinetic Performance
ROLEX Conceptual intervention third attempt; for x-mas+ 2005, CentrePasquArt Biel/Bienne
Performance HANDLUGGAGE, Café Gallery, London 2005
By invitation of K3 project space in Zurich and Café Gallery and Coleman Project Space in London, a group of Swiss artists travelled to London, carry ing a sponsored NAVYBOOT bag, deco rated with a choice of either a national or cantonal flag, worth around 180 Swiss francs. The exhibition was restricted to what could be put together using the bag’s content at Café Gallery in London. Haus am Gern packed their bag (with the motif of the Japanese flag) with a candle stick, a candle, a lighter, a mobile phone, and instructions for a performan ce. Contrary to the curatorial concept, Haus am Gern did not travel to London but asked another participating artist to take their bag along. On the evening of the opening, the candle was to be placed in the holder and lit. Institutions,
The Telekinetic Performance
art houses, galleries and cultural producers in Switzerland and Europe had been contacted per email. Together with the visitors to the opening in London, and the guests at the opening at Kunsthalle Bern the same night (Corey McCorkle: “Jesus Christ Says She Is the Sun”) they were asked to simultaneously try to extinguish the candle using their combined mental power. The curators refused the project, but against their will other artists and friends lit the candle at 18.30h local time at the opening in London and, using the mobile phone, entered into mental contact with Haus am Gern at the Kunsthalle Bern. The candle flickered.
In the context of the 2005 Christmas exhibition, Kunsthaus CentrePasquArt’s Salle Poma, the museum’s largest gal lery (6 x19 x 6 m), was made available for the third time to artists submitting to a public art contest. The director again made her personal selection. Haus am Gern’s submission consisted of a loan request to Rolex, the world-famous luxury watch-makers whose production centre is located in Biel/Bienne. One of their luminescent crown logos was to be put on display at Salle Poma. Usually, the crown logo illuminates the sky above the city of Biel/Bienne. By lending their logo crown to Haus am Gern, Rolex would at last have sponsored a local insti tution. (Rolex do sponsor the arts but only at the highest level, in keeping with their sophisticated image).
Haus am Gern assumed the following options: A) If Rolex’ reply was positive, Haus am Gern would display the crown; Rolex would be named as the sponsor; B) If Rolex’s reply was negative or if they did not reply, Haus am Gern would display a faked Rolex crown. If the director opted for Haus am Gern’s project, she risked nothing at all in the event of A). In the event of B) she would have had to explain to Rolex why
she tolerated the display of a fake Rolex logo in her institution (Rolex prohibit and prosecute any misuse of their logo). If the director rejected Haus am Gern’s proposal, she risked – in the event of A) – rejecting ROLEX as a new partner. At the time of the director’s decision, Rolex’ reply had not yet been received. The director, however, opted for another project.
Art has never solved anything Pot holders, embroidered «softfacor», Kunstverein Steffisburg
The invitation to a group exhibition at the art association in a wealthy farming village coincided with the beginning of the second Lebanese war (the 33 day war). On live-streaming internet sites, listeners heard bombs exploding as cul tural activists simultaneously reported on the destruction of Beirut. This piece was created amidst the vivid impressions of the events of this war.
Art has never solved anything
Intervention with 20’000 5-ct.-coins (CHF 1,000CHF / US-$ 800), “Bademeister”, curated by Köfer/Hess, group show at a public indoor swimming pool in Wald near Zurich
Prior to its renovation, the municipal indoor swimming pool of Wald served as a temporary exhibition space. Haus am Gern scattered the equivalent of their fee for the exhibition, 20’000 five cent coins, on the bottom of the pool. A plaque announced: “A popular myth says that it’s lucky to throw coins over your left shoulder into the basin of the swimming pool using your right hand. One coin promises a safe return to Wald, two ensure that the thrower falls in love with a local guy or girl, while three guarantee marriage to that person. The coins how ever, also bring luck to those who fish them out of the water. All coins that still lie at the bottom of the pool on the 12th of May will be donated for the benefit of the Community of Wald.” After only three days, the young people of Wald had emptied the basin.
Faes & Witschi Ilfochrome, 60 x 80 cm, framed For fischliweiss, a project by Eliane Rutishauser & Klodin Erb / Coleman Projects Space, London; White Space, Zurich
Dressed up as Bear and Rat, the artists Erb/Rutishauser had their portraits taken by 25 Swiss contemporary artists referencing the protagonists of the art films The Point of Least Resistance (1981) and The Right Way (1983) by Peter Fischli and David Weiss. Haus am Gern’s portrait in turn cited The Story of the Inky Boys from Heinrich Hoffmann’s Struwwelpeter (1845), the construction firm Faes & Witschi situated opposite their studio, and – the Gern.
steady rise Faes & Witschi
FUNNY EFFECTS Wall painting; variable size Kunsthaus Aarau (execution wes_21), 2006; ART-ETAGE Biel/Bienne (129 stickers), 2008
Swiss supermarkets were selling “Simulated… Bullet Holes! For Funny Effects!” – stickers to be applied to cars, window panes, doors, etc. Haus am Gern offer potential buyers a blow-up of FUNNY EFFECTS – their critical contribution to the current state of world affairs.
DRUM Funny Effects
Job creation Drum, sleeve protectors “Collaboration Torfeld Süd”, interdisciplinary exhibition project
In May 2007 the Canton of Aargau celebrated not just Labor Day, but a whole “Labor Month”. Public authorities and institutions participated with thematic contributions. Haus am Gern was invited to contribute in this context.
only to grant it a short while later under conditions that made drumming impossible according to the terms of the contract, and which therefore would have necessitated the drummer’s immediate dismissal. Following the intervention of the town’s cultural authority, the police finally granted permission in the interest of the project. DRUM is also a Swiss dialect word meaning THEREFORE.
die Hasenglocke (The Hare Bell)
Je ne sais quoi 2007
Drawing in two parts «Fil Rouge 07»; Gallery René Steiner, Erlach (CH)
Haus am Gern decided to create a new job by hiring an unemployed drummer. According to the job advertisement, the task of the drummer would be to walk Aarau’s streets every day to announce Labor Month by drumming. A simple numbering system (worn on the breast like a start number in a sports competition) would indicate the current “Labor Day” and hence count down the days of the temporary job, with renewed unemployment looming at the end of the short contract. The drummer’s duties were to be carried out within reasonable expectations and the employee was expected to engage confidently with
the general public. The search for a suitable person through regional job centers and volunteer programs turned out to be as hopeless as the attempts to acquire sponsorship for the drummer’s salary from local shops and businesses. Therefore, Haus am Gern decided to fund the salary themselves. On 1 May 2007, Lodewijk Rene Katsidis, an unemployed stage construction worker and hobby drummer, began his temporary employment for Haus am Gern. At first, the drummer could only play quietly and in secret, because Aarau’s trade police demonstrated little understanding for DRUM. On April 30 they refused permission for the project,
Haus am Gern shows two individual works by Rudolf Steiner (A) and Barbara Meyer Cesta (3), colored by Victor Gigon (*2001) in the A4 format determined by the gallerist.
final cut 77 Drawings 30 x 40 cm, water based lacquer pen, Tipp-ex Video DVD, loop, 27 min Galerie LINKS, DuflonRacz, Bern
Gallery LINKS is situated to the left of the gallery DuflonRacz. Here artist and project-initiator Heinrich Gartentor shows artists who are unknown or long forgotten in the gallery context. Inside the gallery space he has constructed a wooden box that becomes a stage when seen from the shop window; backstage, however, it’s bulky and cumbersome. Haus am Gern showed 77 drawings from the FALLADA 475 cycle, as well as a video projection of a detail from the panorama of the October war of 1973 between Isreal and Egypt/Syria in Cairo (October War Panorama Cairo). The panorama was painted by North Korean artists in classical propaganda style and is accompanied by an Arabic descrip��tion of the heroic campaign of the Egyptian army.
Hectograph in three parts, Anaglyph for “Fil Rouge Mi-Temps”; Galerie René Steiner, Erlach (CH)
Haus am Gern shows three anaglyph (red/blue) prints with quasi-religious motifs in the A4 format stipulated by the gallerist.
RESTLESS LEGS Installation 5 staircases descending, 165 cm x 60 cm x 90 cm, wood and Polyester paint (yellow green, sulfur yellow, traffic orange, wine red) with lamp
Installation in the context of the “National Art Exhibition” on the grounds of the historic car cemetery in Kaufdorf near Bern, curated by the artist Heinrich Gartentor. Among the derelict Bentley’s, Bugatti’s and DKW’s, five badger- and fox-friendly staircases descend to matching doors. A light illuminates the entrance to the underworld, where the animals’ “nightlife” merrily continues in the minds of the audience …
The PAECHBROTTREE Performance Tree, 1’000 pairs of shoes Kurt-Kurt, project for public space, Berlin, curated by Simone Zaugg (CH) and Pfelder (D)
In Berlin-Moabit, on the corner of Birkenstrasse / Stephanstrasse, at the edge of the vacant lot in Stephankiez where the famous Paech-Brot bakery used to be, stands a dead tree. In its leafless shadow stands the Paech foun tain. Less than ten yards away, a large sign announces the construction of a new shopping centre, the E-Center, beginning in 2008. Quite reasonably, the dead tree could be used to illustrate the convoluted history of the Stephankiez and the Paech-Brot bakery; of investors and squatter communes, neighbours and politicians. However, that is precisely what Haus am Gern chose not to do. Instead, they
proposed to hang one thousand pairs of shoes into the tree. They invited all the neighbours and inhabitants of BerlinMoabit to grab a second-hand shoe from a crate outside the Kurt-Kurt-Zen trale, no. 13 Lübecker Strasse (the birthplace of the much-loved German author, Kurt Tucholsky), walk the few paces around the corner and throw their shoe into the tree. The idea was to take over the dead tree in a friendly and apolitical way, inscribing the “Paech brottree” in the history of the city as Berlin’s first “shoe tree”. During the event, two police officers showed up and put a stop to the fun, which they classified as an illicit gathering and a threat to public safety due to the possibility of shoes falling from the tree. Haus am Gern were requested to remove the shoes already hanging on the tree by 16h the following day, under threat of a fine or court order. Haus am Gern never followed the order and proceedings are still hanging, but lack any substance since the tree was cut down in the spring of 2009. In 2010, the E-Center was under construction.
XXXL Animation 2“12‘ MOUSEUM www.mouseum.ch, Biel/Bienne
For this virtual mini art space, Haus am Gern visualised an animated merging of the MOUSEUM and the Centre PasquArt Biel/Bienne to the sounds of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater Dolorosa. The new entrance is a Haus am Gern cat flap. http://www.mouseum.ch/archiv/haus_ am_gern/mouseum1.html
Installation Wire electric fence Electronic fence, wire, 60 ring insulators, electric fence switch, dimensions 168 x 2393 cm. ART-ETAGE, Biel/Bienne
Haus am Gern drew the three letters XXX onto a wall using an electric fence; the gaps between the letters form two crosses. When the wire is touched, the power switch generates a mild electric charge.
duplication process, involving plenty of spirits, to produce an edition of drawings not created by human hands. These were therefore suspected of the ability to produce spontaneous miracle cures. During the exhibition, this print edition with the title Erich’s Coronation was available for purchase if substituted for an apple. The edition is not limited, but fades as the master sheets become worn with use. This also reduces the frequency of miracle healing.
SUBSTITUT Installation Kitchen tent on Bergo “Royal” paving tiles, spirit duplicator, print edition SUBSTITUT, Raum für aktuelle Kunst aus der Schweiz, Berlin
At Substitut, a space for contemporary art from Switzerland in Berlin, Haus am
Gern showed new work developed specifically for the project and reinterpreted existing pieces under the title HAD I BUT KNOWN.The centerpiece of the exhibition was an installation created for SUBSTITUT consisting of a kitchen tent (substituting Haus [am Gern]) and a spirit duplicator from German Bundeswehr supplies (substituting spirit), as well as A4 size drawings duplicated using the above (substituting the material world). Before the opening of the exhibition Haus am Gern used the spirit
Kidswest Bundesrat (Kidswest Federal Council)
Show us buy us Sell us 2010
Na, noch da? (Are you still around?)
PIPIFAX (Designed for change) Horizontally flipped photograph of office 04 of the Swiss Cardio foundation in Bern (CH), inkjet print, 100 x 140 cm “office goes art”, conceived and curated by Adrien Rihs, Swiss Cardio Foundation, Bern.
The concept of “office goes art” is to present art in office spaces. On Friday night after the end of the shift, invited artists move into the offices made available to them, in order to subject them to an artistic intervention over night. On the following day, the audience may view the results of the interventions and activities. Haus am Gern were inspired by an announcement for a workshop at the Word Economic Forum WEF 2010: “Design for change. In today’s fastchanging and competitive environment, we need new ideas, methods and strategies to address the complexities facing us all. What can we learn about the principles of design thinking to help develop solutions to today’s complex problems?”, – Thus they showed office 04 of the Swiss Cardio Foundation in Bern in a digital, horizontally flipped image. Before the picture was taken, however, all readable material in the office was covered up with its own inverted image. In everyday slang, Pipifax means “non sense”, a “silly detail”, a “trifle”. Originally, the Jews also used Godʼs name JHWE in Greek translations of the bible, but using the Hebrew spelling of the so called Tetragrammaton, from right to left. However, the spelling in the Greek facsimile copies was from left to right. So the Greeks read HWHJ
for JHWH. For the Greeks, the fourletter word signified PIPI, or piss. That’s why readers of these Greek facsimiles called them PIPI-fax.
Performance “Temporary Idealism”, intervention series by San Keller, Kiosk Kalkbreitestrasse 33, Zurich
Throughout 2010, performance artist San Keller invites artists on a weekly basis to sell a book of their choice that they consider “of inestimable value to the development of their artistic work” at the kiosk. The kiosk opens every Monday at 7 am and stays open until the single copy of the book has been sold. Then the kiosk closes until the following Monday at 7 am. The sale price is determined by the artist. On Wednesday evening Haus am Gern sold a two volume miniature edition of the illustrated bible by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794 – 1872) to an art historian for the price of CHF 666.
The Shoe Competition for art in public space, Bern Renovation of school house Laubegg (built 1917) Child’s shoe, object on plinth, SJW*- paperback
In the context of the renovation of the Laubegg School building in Bern, Haus am Gern were invited to partici pate in a public art competition. While walking around the school building, Haus am Gern found an old children’s shoe among the rubble from the attic and took it home. From that moment on, Rudolf Steiner and Barbara Meyer Cesta were hit by a massive stroke of bad luck. In their desperation they attributed their misfortune to the shoe. And in order to avert the curse, they decided to bring the shoe back into the school disguised as an art project. At the panel they told their story, presented their project and left the shoe behind in the head’s office. They won the competition and their luck returned.
The shoe was placed centrally in the school building on a massive stone plinth under bullet proof glass, as the project outline had intended. A short text on a label encourages speculation about the origins and strange power of the show: “Child’s shoe, about 1917. There are people who say that this shoe was discovered in the attic during the renovation of the Laubegg school house in 2008. There are people who think that this shoe has an uncanny story to tell. And there are people who believe that this shoe has special powers.”
Illustration: Gergory Gilbert-Lodge. Authors: Irena Brežná, Renata Burckhardt, Franz Dodel, Zsuzsanna Gahse, Stefanie Grob, Händl Klaus, Anja Jardine, Pedro Lenz, Francesco Micieli, Dragica Rajcic, Ruth Schweikert, Michael Stauffer, Sabine Wen-Ching Wang, Beat Sterchi
Haus am Gern invited fourteen well known Swiss writers to fabulate about the why, what and wherefrom of the shoe in a paperback volume discreetly illustrated by Gregory Gilbert-Lodge. The paperback appeared in the SJW publishing house and is distributed in most schools in Switzerland. The book contextualises the shoe and the Laubegg School for all children of school age who read The Shoe. As a first challenge, the prologue tells the story of Haus am Gern. Whether it is true or not remains a mystery – as do the shoe’s apparent magical powers …
The Schweizerische Jugendschriftenwerk (SJW) was founded in 1931 in order to promote qualitatively high reading matter for children of school age. The SJW distributes affordable literature for different age groups in all four Swiss national languages, with the goal of supporting literacy in schools, and is very well known among the Swiss public. Many renowned Swiss writers have one or more SJW-paperbacks to their name. Since 1932, all original illustrations of SJW books have been preserved in the graphic collection of the Zurich Central Library.
SJW-Nr.: 2362 / ISBN 978-3-7269-0555-2 * SJW Das Schweizerische Jugendschriftenwerk
1998 – 2000 1998 – 2000 1998 – 2000 1998 – 2000 1998 – 2000 1998 – 2000