Reconstruction 重建

Reconstruction 重建

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 or Aita Sulser at

Installation view Reconstruction 重建 (Photos: Annik Wetter)

Li Liao, Meret Oppenheim, Lewis Hammond, Heidi Bucher, Shinoh Nam
Heidi Bucher, Shinoh Nam, Yun Suknam
Haneyl Choi, Hans Bellmer, Ida Ekblad, Marcel Broodthaers
Haneyl Choi, Mini Han, 2021 (detail)
Hans Bellmer, Untitled, 1934/38-1949, hand-coloured gelatine silver prints
Marcel Broodthaers, Shinoh Nam, Zhang Xiaogang
Marcel Broodthaers, Meret Oppenheim, Heidi Bucher, Hans Ballmer, Hu Xiaoyuan
Hu Xiaoyuan, Wood/Thing/No. 2, 2012
Marcel Broodthaers, Meret Oppenheim, Li Liao
Lewis Hammond, Meret Oppenheim, Heidi Bucher