08 March – 24 May 2020
Opening: Sunday, 08 March 2020, 11 am
David Renggli’s oeuvre is permeated with humour, poetry as well as muslcality and comes to expression in the form of sculptures, conceptual painting and complex multimedia presentations. In addition, there are appropriations of pictorial languages from both everyday life and the traditions of cultural history, with contributions from ancient sculpture as well as pictures from the tabloid press and fashion magazines. Renngli’s works are also based on his wide-ranging collection of vintage erotic publications which, alongside paraphrases of ideals of beauty, are likewise characterised by sophisticated and innovative graphic designs.
With a wry wink of the eyes, David Renggli directs an ironical gaze towards the cult of beauty, forms of self-optimisation and instances of narcissistic self-referentiality; he uses collages embellished with painting to integrate his comments and reflections into a comprehensive pictorial atlas. As a Neo-Dadaist, David Renggli is entirely devoted to the free play of art – and occasionally also of music.
14 June 2020 – 15 November 2020
Hoël Duret – low
Opening: Sunday, 14 June 2020, 11 am
With his exhibition entitled low, which is conceived as a Lichthof: inner courtyard / ??, Hoël Duret transforms the two-storied entrance hall of the Villa Merkel into a fantastical, breathing organism – into a sort of illusory landscape, the garden of a post-technological world. This setting is bordered by a succession of new works which are presented in the ground-floor rooms surrounding the entrance hall; these consist of videos, futuristic glass objects and sandblasted spirits. The latter give concrete form in the air to the thoughts of plants. For that reason, they are spirits: they surround us, but we cannot see them. Their shape is related to microscopic pictures and is simultaneously overlaid with a modernist aesthetic.
Hoël Duret’s artistic practice combines fictitious stories with real events. It arises out of the interplay among extremely diverse media. In a pictorial language based on science fiction, the New Age movement, post-apocalyptic cinema as well as the utopias of modernism, Hoël Duret investigates the relationships between nature and technology, especially against the background of ongoing digitalisation. He develops a critical, alternate image to the notion of the digital era as a coherent phase of human history and thereby makes it clear that such a concept can only be asserted at the price of masking diversity.
16 May 2021 – 1 August 2021
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.
Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt – Förderung von künstlerischen und kulturellen Projekten