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Kunsthalle São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
May 22, 2015 – June 20, 2015
Interested in understanding the qualities of materials, such as glass, wood, or found objects, Swiss artist Manuel Burgener (*Bern, 1978) creates works that employ those materials as they are, and not only as elements for the building of other structures. Always using “warm” materials – the ones that either have once been living beings, such as wood, or that have been heated up and transformed, like glass – he creates art works which are not sculptures, but that are the materials themselves, performing their own qualities. A cut glass is never polished, a chair is showed as a chair, and even the dust coming from the room is showed as it is.
Transferring the same idea to the exhibition space, Manuel Burgener creates installations that connect to the space in which they are exhibited, but without commenting on it. For the exhibition at KUNSTHALLE São Paulo, his first solo show in Brazil, he has created an installation combining most of the elements with which he has been working in the last years – chairs, glasses, lamps, light and color – but this time, all integrated in a same piece.
Burgener proposes a very poetic exhibition, in which time and presence are the keys for scrutinizing the works and the relations existing among them. By moving around the room and spending some time with all the elements, one starts to connect to their qualities, reaching the point in which the materials are understood as entities, possessing their own presence. For the artist, the only way one can understand things around himself, is through taste, through the very personal experience that requires presence and time, and varies from one person to the other: a soup tastes differently for each person trying it, just like colors are perceived and felt in different ways by each viewer.
The installation in the show comprises three main standing pieces, each composed by a squared glass structure enveloping a chair and a neon lamp. Two of them – which lay in the main exhibition area – have their glass structure colored in yellow and green, and the lightened neon lamp standing on top of the chair. These two pieces allude to the presence of two living bodies in a dialog, whose colorful auras glow from their inner parts. The third piece, which stands alone from a distance, is not colored and not lightened, suggesting a body, that does not take part of the dialog yet, but has its inner potentiality to become also a glowing colorful being.
Also very important for the show, were the first days in which the artist worked on the space itself, in order to connect to it. Proposing an adaptation, in which he removed most of the furniture from the space and renovated the installations in the office area, Burgener was able to integrate the different areas of the space, thus amplifying the exhibition area.
Manuel Burgener (*1978, Bern, Switzerland) lives and works in Burgdorf. Among the exhibitions in which he presented his works are:
SOLOSHOWS (Selection): Untitled Blue, Galerie Luis Campana, Berlin (2014); Galerie Krethlow, Bern (2014); Manuel Burgener, Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels (2013); Ich laufe nicht auf einem Bein, S.M.A.K., Ghent (2013); Studio # 1, Galerie Van der Mieden, Antwerp (2011); Manuel Burgener & Oscar Tuazon, Kunsthalle Bern (2010).
GROUPSHOWS (Selection): White Noise, Kunsthaus Glarus (2015); Unikat – Unicum, Swiss National Library, Bern (2014); Swiss Art Awards, Basel (2014); Invitation by Seb Koberstädt, Düsseldorf (2013); Marti Collection, Centre Paquart, Biel (2013); Manuel Burgener, Lorna Macintyre & Freek Wambacq, Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels (2012); La jeunesse est un art, Jubiläum Manor Kunstpreis, Aargauer Kunsthaus (2012).