10. July – 18. September 2005
An exhibition of the Kunstmuseum Thun as the 23rd Art Exhibition of the Swiss Alpine Club
Mid-summer: Crampons, ropes and picks are all in the rucksack, the snow has melted, ambitious mountain tours over glaciers and cliffs take you way up into the mountains. The Kunstmuseum Thun is also devoting itself to the theme of the mountain in an exhibition entitled "hoch hinaus".
A popular theme in art, literature and music, it will be examined here as to its relevance in contemporary art. The mountain will not, however, be reduced to the rank of a motif in the traditional sense. On the contrary, the focus will be on the current diversity of its meaning: as a landscape and ecological system, as a place of recuperation and retreat, of longing, of personal challenge, and of encounter with oneself, as well as a metaphor and symbol.
The Kunstmuseum has invited a dozen artists to present their view of the theme, and a number of works have been specially created for the exhibition "hoch hinaus". In addition to the view of artists from Switzerland and the surrounding Alpine region, the mountains have caught the particular attention of artists from other parts of the world. For example, the Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto has strewn a labyrinth of salt in his highly meticulous installation, whose intertwining paths lead the viewers into the mountains, that is, if they do not go astray beforehand. The Turkish artist couple Sener Özmen & Erkan Özgen have strayed from the path; in their video work we see them stumbling around in an inhospitable mountain landscape in search of the famous Tate Modern. In one of his monumental photo-realistic paintings Franz Gertsch depicts the world of the mountains as the longed-for goal of drop-outs. The German photographer Sonja Braas deceives our eyes by mixing real mountain views and photos of models, thereby undermining traditional visual habits. Diana Dodson, who lives in Berne, approaches the theme with irony by constructing an accessible mountain in a multi-media installation, while the Chinese artist Zhang Huan confronts the erratic mountain world and human being, whose nakedness mirrors the vulnerability of our life. In an installation made of washing lines Heike Weber from Germany drafts a mountain chain in space: the hovering rock becomes light. The young photographer from West Switzerland Joël Tettamanti explores the structure and beauty of the mountains in a work which shows them as a geological phenomenon marked by culture and civilisation. Christian Vetter and Neal Tait represent two different painting positions: taking a conceptual approach, the Swiss artist examines the symbolic meaning of the mountain as a sign of excess and power; his group of works gathers together examples of monuments and memorials in which the mountain motif has been instrumentalized. The British artist Neal Tait, by contrast, focuses on the painterly aspect: the mountain becomes a sensual and colourful visual event.
Artists in the exhibition:
Sonja Braas (D *1968), Diana Dodson (CH *1963), Peter Fischli (CH *1952) / David Weiss (CH *1946), Gabriela Gerber (CH *1970) / Lukas Bardill (CH *1968), Franz Gertsch (CH *1930), Zhang Huan (China *1965), Vincent Kohler (CH *1977), Andres Lutz (CH *1968) / Anders Guggisberg (CH *1966), Sener Özmen (Turkey *1971) / Erkan Özgen (Turkey *1971), Neal Tait (GB *1965), Joël Tettamanti (CH *1977), Christian Vetter (CH *1970), Heike Weber (D *1962), Motoi Yamamoto (Japan *1966)