‹Landscapes Reloaded›: Katia Bourdarel, Raffaella Chiara, Rainer Eisch, Bernhard Huwiler, Christian Indermühle, Reto Leibundgut


‹Landscape painting› is one of the classic subjects in art history, but for a long time was less appreciated than still lives or portraiture. Prior to being emancipated in the 19th century, landscapes were regarded as backgrounds. The actual exhibition, ‹Landscapes Reloaded›, shows six contemporary productions, with different positions, all addressing the subject ‹Landscape›. In this view, the differences between classic techniques like painting or drawing and those of digital interpretations become vague. The title, ‹Landscapes Reloaded›, is a testimonial to the constant renewal and the new interpretations of old topics reflected in contemporary art. This is also acknowledged in the computer and film industry.

Katia Bourdarel embraces her own a fairy-tale world. She places her mystical pictures on a huge mural painting, so that those literally become a part of it. A gigantic feathered fairy-tale creature composes the impressive, painted frame for the fine aquarelles and oil paintings. At the centre is the series ‹L’ombre du vent›, pictures from the artist’s daughter, on which she can be seen fairylike as a fawn in an enchanted landscape.

The drawings of Raffaella Chiara illuminate less the aspect of landscape itself, but rather a phenomena of nature. Without this reflection the ‹landscape› could not be experienced. Chiara shows for example showers of rain or rays of sunshine and puts them into fictional ‹microcosms›. The drawings vacillate between the intersection of construction, abstraction, and objectivity.

The 16-milimeter-film work ‹mr_broum› from Rainer shows a tracking shot over a kind of mars landscape. At first sight the pictures seem real and familiar; but then turn out to be a digital animation of a virtual world. The combination of an ancient film projector with computer animation creates an area of tension between the romanticising ideal of landscape and the high-tech.

The exhibition especially created in a format of large intaglio prints from Bernhard Huwiler plays with the names of mountains or landscapes. Without title, only systems of lines can be seen. But if one knows the title, for example ‹Devil’s Tower› or ‹Angel’s Horns›, a new picture is extrapolated: Huwiler has traced the contour line and has lead-engraved them. ‹Good› and ‹Evil› look so much the same now, that they actually cannot be distinguished anymore.

Christian Indermühles photography, looking spherically at sea and beach, bring an ethereal transfiguring note to the exhibition. He has masterfully visited secretive places and therein captured special moments of light. The sea pictures as well as the architecture photography represent the highlights of Indermühles work.

Finally, Reto Leibundgut brings new woodcarvings and a small landscape installation to Bern. During his atelier stay in New York he was fascinated by the miniature advertisements from the American real estate market. As a result of his impression of houses, he created a series of wonderful woodcarvings; with his installation ‹Tiny Temple› landscape encroaches the room at the end.

Bernhard Bischoff, June 2007