Galerie Gisèle Linder
Galerie Gisèle Linder GmbH
Elisabethenstrasse 54
CH-4051 Basel
Tel +41 61 272 83 77




23.7. – 20.8.2016

The Basel artist Andreas Schneider has centered his work on the site-specific situation of the Galerie Gisèle Linder. It deals with historical components on one hand. The building containing the gallery was built in the beginning of the 20th century; for years it has proudly defied the newer structures surrounding it. These rise up above the stylish building on either side. However, this has hardly lessened its effectiveness. On the contrary, to this day the building still continues to offer resistance against its encirclement and crowding. This perseverance provides the exhibition’s overarching theme.

The drive to grow is linked in inverted form both with the building and its interior. Two former shops were combined to form the gallery and, inside, they were supplemented by a winding staircase to the lower level. Even the balcony became a part of the exhibition area. Here the existing space is worked with, and this is the basis of the gallery’s charm. For years art has been successfully lived out here in a prominent location and with an outstanding program. The situational arrangement is now to be put on display itself.

Andreas Schneider’s interventions are articulated monumentally and reductively. The works spread throughout the entire gallery: from its entrance, through its interior and on to its outdoor area. The works’ realization is meant to reveal the crowding, the pressing and constricting of this venerable old building. The intervention is intended to render a physical experience of Squeeze possible and to make the cramped situation tangible.

A mass of concrete pushes its way into the gallery space. It hovers almost weightlessly above the pavement. Upon entering the gallery space, visitors see that the mass stretches into the interior. Our view of the block’s end surprisingly unveils the block’s beginning: the relief-like impression of a monumental palm reveals itself here. This now seems to push the entire concrete mass outwards, just as – from the outside – it could be interpreted as pushing inwards. The concrete mass in the gallery is meant to suggest the pressure on the “old” buildings and thus also to underscore the poise required to withstand it.

A chest-high wooden support forms a brace and wedges itself across the space. It stands for stemming the pressure from the outside. However, the support suggests a function that it cannot serve. Seen purely in terms of statics the support is removed from its intended use, because it is made of a light material. It also remains unclear what it is holding back. Because there are no clear supports on its ends, the wooden beam seems to pass through the wall.

In the ’70s and ’80s the edge of the block around the gallery building was filled in and built up. A drawn-aluminium profile represents this dominance in a forceful way. The choice of material is intended to show the harshness and inalterability of the situation today. The work is arranged so that the silhouette of the gallery points upwards – just as the only space left for any further drive to grow is the air above it.

Special edition Squeeze
This special edition presents an altered photograph of the water tower in Schönenbuch, Switzerland. The tower was built in 1990 and captivates through its nuanced and strongly expressive architectural idiom. The water tower is primarily made of concrete, but its appearance is anything but bulky. For the image Squeeze, the crown of the water tower has been mirrored and thus reinterpreted. Like a dumb-bell it conveys a feeling of being pressed together in its most concentrated form.

Marina Huonker, July 2016
Translation: Michael Wetzel

23.7. – 20.8.2016

The Swiss artist Ursula Palla is presenting a selection of her videos and objects under the title Reverse Island. Her works’ pictoriality and depth enable the artist to breathe life into the exhibition space.

At first glance these works affect their viewers on a sensual-aesthetic level; a longer viewing reveals the other side of the coin. Reverse Island stands for this multi-layered impression of ready accessibility and subsequent confusion. The island as a paradise, a place for dreaming, is inverted into its opposite. The more it manifests itself, the more the illusion is destroyed.

The work black flowers is a symbol for the transformation of wishful thinking into bitter disappointment. The video installation deals with revolutions named after flowers in Portugal, Georgia, Tunisia, the Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Roses, tulips, jasmine, orange blossoms and carnations fly towards viewers and smack against the window pane. They lose their natural colours upon impact, becoming grey and black. Former dreams and expectations literally burst and turn into hopelessness.

Reduced to essentials, new works like apples 4 also succeed in surprising viewers. Four small monitors, arranged into a still life reminiscent of Cézanne’s Four Apples, show close-ups of perfectly shiny apples that suddenly explode in slow motion. The focus here is on the apple as a highly symbolic object. Historically it has often been associated with the Tree of Knowledge and served as a symbol of fertility and sovereign power. In art the apple has usually been used as an allegorical attribute or as part of a still life. For Ursula Palla the apple stands for our history and the question of the extent to which people allow themselves to be guided by knowledge of the past. The answer is a sobering one: in apples 4 the apple is entirely reduced to its form and surface and then explodes into countless separate pieces in the next instant.

In her works Ursula Palla successfully grasps difficult themes in moving pictures. In doing so she likes to play with a seemingly poetic lightness. Her viewers are completely unaware of their becoming slowly mesmerized before the shocking realization hits them.

Marina Huonker, July 2016
Translation: Michael Wetzel