These works are presented as part of the program Almusibli Panorama. Each month, the Swiss curator Mohamed Almusibli presents a selection of digital works recently produced by Swiss artists, or artists living and working in Switzerland, in the Works section on the 5th floor, our digital extension. This one-year program aims at drawing a panorama of the territories and forms emerging from the Swiss art scene in all its diversity.
Program presented with the support of Pro Helvetia
Inès Berdugo & Lou Cohen
Krystal is a nail beautician, she flirts with the boys and girls of her gang to get their nails. The film is edited in a loop, it suggests a feeling of confinement, of eternal return of immobility. “Painting scenes” punctuate the film, as if they were early Renaissance paintings with little perspective. These scenes accentuate the feeling that each character will remain immutably in the same place. No change is possible. The characters exhaust themselves in their function, their bodies are consumed entirely in the re-edition of stereotypes. Among the group, Krystal is the only character who asserts a derisory but precise will to get the nails of the people around her.
Lou Cohen (b. 1995) lives and works between Geneva and Paris. Cohen divides her time between drawing, traditional painting, and filmmaking. Most often through installations, she explores the links and interactions between the artist and his work. Her videos and pictorial representations answer or contradict each other but without a definitive statement. Her narrations stage with humor, always squeaky, the women and men of her generation. Cohen is also an actress in her own films and those of others. She is trained at HEAD – Genève.
Inès Berdugo lives and works in Brussels. She juggles between writing and film to paint a portrait of the people around her. Her book Mon thé salé par tes larmes, published by Editions MediumSansSerif in 2021, tells the love stories of her mother, through the tears of her multiple lovers. In the context of FRAMES × EllesfontYoutube residency, Berdugo addresses the question of mourning and death in an offbeat, raw and sensitive documentary that explores the funeral business. Berdugo is passionate about reality, present in her graduation film C’est pas douloureux de renaître, which was selected at the Visions du réel festival in Nyon. Berdugo is trained at La Cambre.
Dorota Gawęda & Eglė Kulbokaitė
Still life of a thistle between carnations and cornflowers on a mossy forest floor
Still life of a thistle between carnations and cornflowers on a mossy forest floor is the title of Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė’s latest video which in its title directly recalls the baroque work of artist Rachel Ruysch (1683). Produced with the aid of a Generative Adversarial Network, the work positions itself in the lineage of the Western painting tradition, simultaneously contesting the art-historicised trope of still life as technologically framed image. Occupying the space in between figuration and abstraction and reflecting the artists’ current research into the mediation of ‘Nature’, the video in equal measures points to the hegemonies of representation in art production as much as to the emerging algorithmic systems which increasingly build our understanding of the surrounding world. With this piece Gawęda and Kulbokaitė open up an important process of investigation into the concept of ‘Nature’ as that, which has been traditionally defined as outside to the subject; and the illusory promise of a body as whole and separate to the environment.
Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė are an artist duo based in Basel. Their work spans performance, installation, fragrance, sculpture and video. In their work, the duo explores artistic production through collaboration and search for aberrant media that lend themselves to creating speculative environments. Formally, Gawęda and Kulbokaitė explore incompleteness and linguistic ingraspability, apparent both in their approach to performance as in the sculptural objects and environments that they propose, offering ways to renegotiate our complex relationship to Nature – ecological system that we have historically defined as separate to ourselves, as outside. They have exhibited internationally including: Kunstverein Leipzig (2021); Swiss Institute, New York (2020); Den Frie, Copenhagen (2020); MWW, Wroclaw (2020); Kunstverein Düsseldorf (2020 and 2016); Lafayette Anticipations, Paris (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018); 6th Athens Biennale (2018); MMOMA, Moscow (2018); Kunsthalle Basel (2017); ICA, London (2017); MOMA, Warsaw (2016); Berlin Biennale 9 (2016); MaM, Paris (2015) among others. Their recent solo shows include presentations at: Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf (2020); OnCurating, Zürich (2020); Body Archive, Zürich (2020); Trafo Gallery, Budapest (2020); Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London (2020 and 2018); Fri Art Kunsthalle Fribourg (2020); Futura, Prague (2019); Lucas Hirsch Gallery, Düsseldorf (2018); Cell Project Space, London (2018). Upcoming exhibitions include: Alserkal Foundation (group); Lucas Hirsch Gallery, Düsseldorf (solo); Istituto Svizzero, Milan and Palermo (solo); Swimming Pool, Sofia (solo). The duo are also the founders of YOUNG GIRL READING GROUP ( 2013 – ).
Confinement in D minor
Iku’s Confinement in D minor investigates the social and deeply personal ways our minds and bodies are intertwined with our experience of and our participation in the current social(ly distant) life. This music video was initially created as an online performance for the Toronto-based Club Quarantine, an online dance party that carved out a digital space for the queer community to come together during the pandemic of COVID-19. In a time when most of us are confined to our homes, Confinement in D minor explores in which ways isolation and interconnectedness might be compatible and offers a glimpse into how such conflicting concepts might be paralleled by a horizon of subjective possibility.
Johanna Odersky (b.1993) is a visual artist and musician based in Frankfurt am Main. She is a graduate from the Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule and studied in the class of Judith Hopf. Much of her work revolves around exploring how human experience is organized and embodied and how relationships between body, mind, and the external world are always and necessarily situated in discursive power relations. These questions are echoed in her musical work and performances, which she produces under the alias Iku. Her work has been shown in festivals, galleries, and other art spaces across Europe, Japan, Mexico, and the US.