16 May 2021 – 15 August 2021


Gabriela Oberkofler –
Api étoilé / A growing archive


Start of research: 1 April 2020

Opening: Sunday, 16 May 2021, 11 am

Api étoilé – A Growing Archive focuses on agricultural crops. From one continent to another, seeds and field reports are collected with respect to their cultivation. After several months of travel and research, the seeds will be handed over to interested hobby gardeners for the purpose of growing a year’s worth of plants. In the following year, they will be displayed as yearlings in the inner courtyard of the Villa Merkel along with drawings, watercolours and video-works. They  constitute an opulent, initial kitchen garden of a new type which, as if arising casually, offers a contrast to the park which surrounds the Villa Merkel and, with its anthropomorphic reshaping of nature, is designed according to the ideal of English landscape gardens. After the plants of this kitchen garden have produced new seeds in turn, these will be added to the growing archive by the gardeners participating in the project.

In this way the archive constantly grows and will be continued in an expanded form past the two-year pilot phase. Experience and knowledge are successively added on highly diverse levels.

We thank our cooperation partners: the Freilicht Museum Beuren and the Kunsthaus Dresden.







Supported by




Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt – Förderung von künstlerischen und kulturellen Projekten

Postponed to February 2022



Freezing Point - Kunst unter Null Grad Celsius
(Art Below Zero Degrees Celsius)


Valentino Biagio Berndt and Marlon Lanziner, Marja Helander, Sally Kindberg, Anastasia Mityukova, Carsten Nicolai, Emma Stibbon, Fridolin Walcher, Jun Yang and others

Upon dropping below the temperature threshold of zero degrees Celsius, water changes from a liquid state to the solid form of ice or snow. It is a matter of nothing other than the natural course of things. Nevertheless frozen water is simultaneously a fascinating phenomenon in all its facets and even has the potential to cast a spell on the observer. For centuries, depictions of ice and snow have had an established place in the visual arts. The group exhibition brings together contemporary positions on the theme.


From scientific aggregate state to landscape of romantic yearning past the forces of nature and expeditions by adventurers all the way to the history of ice cream, there exists a wide spectrum of themes which present themselves for discussion in the works on display. The theme, however, acquires a new and disconcerting impact in view of climate change and the world’s ever more apparent dependency on the disappearing ice at the North and South Poles.

As a prelude to the group exhibition, a one cubic meter block of ice was already buried on November 24, 2020 in a first event entitled "The Ice of the Emperors of China" in Merkelpark.


The 1,000 litre block of ice was packed in a wooden crate, insulated with straw, sunk into the ground and covered with soil. In spring 2021, the ice block will be dug up again as part of a spring festival. The burial was accompanied by video documentation and reports on social media channels.


It is an event initiated by the Austrian-Chinese artist Jun Yang. It is based on the myth that Marco Polo had brought back to Europe the knowledge of how to make ice cream for consumption and how to preserve it until the summer.


Curator: Anka Wenzel

Fridolin Walcher, Bifertengletscher Glarner Alpen Schweiz, 2011Valentino Biagio Berndt & Marlon Lanziner, Neuproduktion, 2020Carsten Nicolai, snow noise, 2001