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Pierre Bismuth - Tout ce qui n'est pas interdit est obligatoire

Exhibition view Pierre Bismuth 2005, photo: David Aebi

Exhibition view Pierre Bismuth 2005, photo: David Aebi

Exhibition view Pierre Bismuth 2005, photo: David Aebi

Exhibition view Pierre Bismuth 2005, photo: David Aebi

21. April – 19. June 2005

Kunstmuseum

The Kunstmuseum Thun presents the first extensive solo exhibition by Pierre Bismuth (*1963). The French artist has been showing his work on the international scene since the mid-nineties. Today he‘s considered to be one of the most important contemporary artists of his country and one of the most interesting representatives of conceptual art. The presentation will include recent installations, photographic works and videos, plus a number of new works, and will demonstrate the multifaceted links between Bismuth‘s aesthetically and technically heterogeneous art.

The exhibition will give an overview of Pierre Bismuth‘s œuvre of the last years. His most important and best known works will be on display, such as The Jungle Book Project, 2002 (DVD, drawings), Origami, 2003 (work on paper), Collages for men, 2001-2003 (photo collage), Something less, something more, 2003 (installation), or Following the right hand of Marlene Dietrich, 2004 (wall painting). In addition to this, there will be less known and very recent pieces in the exhibition, as well as new works such as Ibhayibheli, 2005. The installation consists of a large number of Bibles, each in a different language. The socio-political significance of the book is the main focus of the work, with which Pierre Bismuth raises questions on themes such as globalised communication, ciphers and linguistic truth.

Pierre Bismuth uses his artistic practice as a tool for examining our perception of reality. With limited means and a lot of humour he aims at destabilizing pre-established codes of perception. By creating unexpected shifts in common meanings of things, changes in perceptual habits can be brought about. This can be seen in the unfolded origamis. However, each sheet is named after its origami function, which has nothing to do with the image printed on it. In the series Replaced by the same, 2003, the artist substitutes one thing by its double by taking elements from pictures and replacing them by the same motif from a duplicate.

For the exhibition in Thun Bismuth has created a new video in collaboration with Michel Gondry, The all seeing eye, 2005. The camera rotates from a central position in a living- room, and after each rotation, elements such as the TV, sofa or chairs disappear until the room is totally empty: a fascinating mental journey on which the familiar becomes unpredictable.

Catalogue with essays by Michel Gauthier and Madeleine Schuppli (German/French), edited by Madeleine Schuppli, Kunstmuseum Thun, ISBN 3-906537-17-X, price: CHF 28.–