Laurent Schmid: Rope Tricks



From the very beginning Laurent Schmid has always worked at the intersection of art and science. His work irritates with incessant para-scientific coquetries, leading to ambiguous statements. “Truth” mutates into the projection of wishes or expectations and can be interpreted in various ways. It is within this field of tension that he keeps searching for interesting stories, escalating further by weaving in absurd conspiracy theories or mixing malicious truths with lies. The artist puts his basic mistrust in pictures at the centre of his interest.

The works exhibited in "Knotholes" are based on photographs of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, taken by the American scientist Harold E. Edgerton in the 1950s. The edited pictures were used for propaganda purposes in order to glorify the atomic power of the USA and to mislead enemy militaries about the explosive force of the bombs. Laurent Schmid has now created new forms and therefore his works are openly declared fakes – continuing the known discourse about the validity of pictures. In the video works featured in “Flying Knotholes” the forms mutate into pulsing objects, shuttling back and forth between micro organic structures and science-fiction aesthetics.

The double object “Pathetic Grabing” pays homage to Edgerton. The strangely wired disco balls, intended to remind the viewer of models of the early atomic bombs, are placed on wooden pedestals, constructed according to photographic documents of Edgerton’s experiments. Laurent Schmid’s work infiltrates, cheats, mixes and unsettles by constantly questioning the habits of our perception, for example, by coloring pictures of atomic models from the 30s, blowing them up to a much larger scale and thus making the works look like neo pop art. The passage of time is the object of his irony and he catapults the trash sculpture from the onset of atomic technology over the pacifistic 70s and 80s into the future.

He considers his comical paper works as sketches of his ideas, though they can be looked at as independent works. The artist is a virtuoso in combining different media and in using the entire repertoire of contemporary art.


Bernhard Bischoff, October 2010


«Flying Knotholes #4», 2010, DVD, Video, 03', Auflage 4
«Flying Knotholes #4», 2010, DVD, Video, 03', Auflage 4
Modell 5dm0, 2010, Inkjet auf Textil, 165 x 150 cm, Unikat
Modell 5dm0, 2010, Inkjet auf Textil, 165 x 150 cm, Unikat
«Flying Knotholes #1», 2010, DVD, Video, 03', Auflage 4
«Flying Knotholes #1», 2010, DVD, Video, 03', Auflage 4

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Laurent Schmid 2016
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Reto Leibundgut - Clementine 2016
Erich Weiss feat. Otto Tschumi 2016
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Now and Here 2014
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En-lighted 2013
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Patterns 2013
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Originally Bern 2013
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Locking glass 2012
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X Years 2011
Dominik Stauch - Breathless 2011
Marius Lüscher 2011
Reto Leibundgut - Flora 2011
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Microcosmes 2011
Elsbeth Böniger 2011
Laurent Schmid - Rope Tricks 2010
Reto Camenisch 2010
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