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Group show: Martina Sauter / Michel Sauer (over)

29 May 2008 until 5 July 2008
  Martina Sauter / Michel Sauer
  annex14 - Raum für aktuelle Kunst

Junkerngasse 14
3000 Bern
Switzerland (city map)

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tel +41 (0)44 - 202 44 22

Martina Sauter, Michel Sauer
Tür & Bär (Door & Bear)

Vernissage: 30.5.2008
6 pmExhibition: 31.5. – 5.7.2008

What do you need to get a story going, a word, an image, an aroma? The works of Martina Sauter (1974/DE), photographer, and Michel Sauer (1949/DE), objects, lay contradictory trails. They frustrate perception and thus prompt surprising stories about, among other things, the relationship between reality and fiction, between form, surface and content or about the vagueness of apparently sound ideas.

This is Martina Sauter's second exhibition at annex14, following “You never know the whole story, 2006”. In processing her photographic worlds this artist works with cinematographic tools, such as editing, montage, lighting and suspense. She also uses film-stills, photographs of sets in film studios, of sets she herself arranges in her studio, and of real places. With the help of scarcely perceptible montages of two levels of reality or isolated, carefully-selected frames she creates stage-like spaces for yet to be imagined stories. At the same time, Sauter involves her viewers in a mysterious interplay of fiction and reality.

The works in this exhibition allude to the film Short Cuts by Robert Altman, to the television series Twin Peaks by David Lynch and to the Tucson film studios in Arizona. Due to the skilful spatial staggering and the dramatic light-shade contrasts Sauter's Poolhouse, 2007, a kind of close-up photograph of a real house which Altman once used as a film location, is more than just a document. New surprising pictorial worlds emerge through the montage of stills from Twin Peaks (Flur, 2008 and Schatten, 2008) and photographs of real places, recognisable from the varying pictorial quality and the relief-life arrangement of the picture carriers. Here the artist uses the parallels and differences between photographic and cinematographic narrative modes, with the staging as such being an integral part of the theme addressed.

Michel Sauer's Ferne 03, 2006, Insel Zwe, 2006 or Votiv 2, 2008 are first and foremost three-dimensional things, captivating and poignant because of their carefully worked forms and sensuous surfaces. The titles, which often contain figures, imply that several variations exist and that therefore the thing, the form, the meaning as such, is not the primary concern. Compositional arrangements or sequences of different elements, or of variants in a group, give a presentiment of the subversive strategies with which the artist explore established notions, breaking them down and disconnecting them.

Michel Sauer has been pursuing his playful and poetic explorations of the essence of things – a coral, a mountain, a leg – since the 1970s. For this purpose he regularly uses materials from the do-it-yourself-shop and prefers to work with craft techniques. Ferne 03, 2006 is an approx. 20 cm high cone-shaped thing with a seemingly stony surface. Is this a mountain perceived from a distance? In such and other works Michel Sauer also refers to fundamental deliberations on the phenomenon of perception. His favourite field of activity are passages where the relationship between form and concept is such as to always give rise to a multi-layered and individual system of references and associations. His things make use of the potential of the transition. They are silent and mysterious, yet speak about the contradictions in modernist sculpture, like for example Autonom 2, 2007. Or they raise questions about everyday objects in art after Marcel Duchamp, or about the fetish character of objects.

For more information and images please contact Susanne Friedli (079 248 98 94) or Elisabeth Gerber (079 574 55 36).

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