Curated by Aita Sulser & Johannes Hoerning
18 September – 30 October 2021
Opening Friday, 17 September 2021
Karma International and FLUIDS are pleased to announce Reconstruction 重建 featuring works by Hans Bellmer, Marcel Broodthaers, Heidi Bucher, Haneyl Choi, Ida Ekblad, Lewis Hammond, Hu Xiaoyuan, Li Liao, Shinoh Nam, Meret Oppenheim, Yun Suknam, and Zhang Xiaogang.
The concept of reconstruction suggests neither a direct return to an imagined state of past origin nor does it indicate an act of copy or renewal of a recognizable tradition. Instead, to reconstruct something – a body, an object, a theory, an idea, a practice, an event, a value, a nation – is always as much an act of de-construction, re-assembling, and re-positioning, giving new intensified meaning to that which is reconstructed. This exhibition comprises nearly sixty works, poems, and essays chosen or produced by twelve international artists, eight writers, philosophers, and poets. Taken together, they offer an investigation into almost a century of reconstruction, from 1934 to 2021.
Beginning with Hans Bellmer’s works during the peak (and fall) of Surrealism, Meret Oppenheim’s transformative practice, loosely situated in the former tradition but reaching well beyond it, and the conceptual-performative practice of Heidi Bucher and Marcel Broodthaers, aesthetic questions of reconstruction appear prevalent in these earlier artists’ work. The latter part of the 20thcentury, represented by Zhang Xiaogang’s reconstruction of compensatory mythology, point toward the global end of social and economic alternatives for the way minds and bodies are organized and disciplined. In Yun Suknam, we find an artist who has herself witnessed much of the tumultuous 20th century but who refuses to give up hope for the egalitarian reconstruction of human relations, mediated by art. The younger generation in this exhibition, whose works are paradigmatic of the last two decades of cultural production – Haneyl Choi, Ida Ekblad, Lewis Hammond, Hu Xiaoyuan, Li Liao, and Shinoh Nam – appear united in their confident use of reconstructive methods and technologies, while their affirmative eclecticism of styles and references renews questions of artistic purpose, artistic competence, and the role of the artist today.
A publication will accompany the exhibition, featuring poems by Hans Bellmer, Meret Oppenheim, Ser Serpas, and Unica Zürn, as well as six critical essays by Jiwei Ci, Olamiju Fajemisin, Francesca Gavin, Johannes Hoerning, Yang Zi, and Yang Naitian, which explore the concept of reconstruction in its aesthetic, cultural, material, and political dimension. The publication was designed by Benjamin Schwartz.
Reconstruction is on view at Westrasse 70, 8003 Zurich, from 17 September to 30 October 2021. For additional information please contact Michael Stanley Szelwach at email@example.com or Aita Sulser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Installation view Reconstruction 重建 (Photos: Annik Wetter)