“Uninhabitable Objects” a topic is being analysed at the Bündner Kunstmuseum,
which is of general social relevance. The dwelling – no matter how rudimentary
– is of existential significance for human beings. This exhibition is about the
subjective-imaginative debate on space and living concepts: “When is something
inhabitable?” “Who lives there?” or “Could I live there?”
selected works in one way or another all point to reality. In fact, they are
images or models of dwellings, which are or were actually built. However, for
the viewer they are de facto neither accessible nor inhabitable and therefore
challenge their imagination. Precisely because dwellings are a central and
everyday part of our lives, the ambiguities of artistic renderings provoke irritation
as well as fascination. Rachel Whiteread, for example, had a Victorian house
completely cast in concrete and had the shell removed, so that the former
living space faces us as a mute memorial to absence. In contrast, the artists’
duo Gabriela Gerber and Lukas Bardill bring to life the military fake village
Answeisen, by creating the illusion with clay and light that the house
claddings are lived in. Bianca Brunner in her photo series Uninhabitable
Objects constructs provisional shelters and takes photographs of them in a
way, which leaves them strangely vague in their function as well as in their
scale. Benjamin Appel builds a space-filling, life-size but hermetically sealed
object with old furniture, which seems simultaneously familiar and forbidding.
Not Vital, in turn, had many of his “inhabitable sculptures” actually made in
Niger, in the Engadin or in Patagonia. Nevertheless, for political, climatic or
geographic reasons occupancy even in these cases usually only happens in the
this exhibition the main issue is not the house as status symbol but its basic
meaning for humans. “The meaning of the hut” lies in its having a physical
protective function as well as offering the possibility of “dreaming in peace”
(Gaston Bachelard). Children early on build houses with simple means and
materials in order to hide from the world and to have a place for themselves
alone. Especially in our time and in our affluent society, in which most have a
fixed abode in a solid house, the hut becomes important again as a place for
contemplation and retreat. The desire to build, which has its roots in
childhood, is taken up as well in artistic concepts, which all deal with the
mental entering and experiencing of space.
Benjamin Appel, Bianca Brunner, Gabriela
Gerber/Lukas Bardill, Catrin Lüthi K, Christof Rösch, Thomas Schütte, Gaudenz
Signorell, Not Vital and Rachel Whiteread show objects, installations,
photographs and videos.
primordial dream of independence and feeling of security, embodied in the
makeshift simplicity of the hut, is the basis for a special event for children.
Curator Katharina Ammann in close collaboration with art mediator Alexa Giger
develop a children’s building site in the garden of the historic Villa Planta.
In the summer under professional supervision and with artists and craftsmen a
children’s villa will be built, in which space and living fantasies can be
tested in a playful way.
of a classic exhibition catalogue there will be a publication, in which the
guideline will be the concept of intervention. Beside information on the
artists it will also include suggestions and instructions on practical
implementations in the area of building, dwelling and living.
Opening: Friday, May 31, at 6 pm
address: Barbara Gabrielli, Head of Department for Culture
Introduction: Dr Katharina Ammann, Curator Bündner Kunstmuseum
Uninhabitable Objects – Behausungen zwischen Imagination und Realität, edited by Katharina
Ammann and Alexa Giger, texts by Katharina Ammann, Alexa Giger, Anna Joss, Christina
Luzzi, Nicole Seeberger, Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur