Christian Andersson: The Great and Secret Show / von Bartha Garage, Basel

The Great and Secret Show is Swedish artist Christian Andersson’s first solo exhibition at von Bartha Garage in Basel, Switzerland. Andersson conceived the multi-faceted show as a commentary on the cultural-philosophical discourses and rituals of the art market. After passing through an art lounge with classic and modern art works, the visitor enters the main installation with predominantly new works, which have been especially created for the exhibition space. In this video, the director of the gallery, Stefan von Bartha, provides us with an introduction to the show. The exhibition runs until November 10, 2012.

Christian Andersson was born in Stockholm in 1973. He studied at the Malmö Art Academy. Recent solo exhibitions include From Lucy With Love (Palais), Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Art Unlimited / To R.M for Ever, Art 42 Basel; and From Lucy With Love, Moderna Museet, Malmö. Christian Andersson lives and works in Malmö, Sweden.

Christian Andersson: The Great and Secret Show / von Bartha Garage, Basel (Switzerland). Introduction by Stefan von Bartha, October 17, 2012.

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Photo set:

Christian Andersson: The Great And Secret Show

More information from the gallery’s website:

The Swedish artist, Christian Andersson, stages his exhibition in the Von Bartha Gallery as a clever commentary on the cultural-philosophical discourses and rituals of the art market.

Christian Andersson arranges his exhibition in the von Bartha garage with intelligence and rich in allusion as a commentary on the contemporary rituals of the art market. The Swedish artist, born in 1973, designed the room with casual and cool elegance, using classic and modern art works from the gallery’s collection and timeless simple sideboards. The staged art-lounge, in which the furniture pieces serve as a base for small objects, refers to representative functions of the exhibition rooms as well as to the special ties between business and matters of taste in the art world.

“¨The installation “The Great and Secret Show” stands at the centre of the display, depicting predominantly new works that have been especially created for the von Bartha Garage. Andersson, a graduate from the Malmö Art Academy, places Plexiglas cubes, under which Rorschach test images rotate on their own axes, on five plinths. The simple bases and cubes represent the objective spirit of modernism, which is keen on Science and efficiency. The images are part of a psycho-diagnostic process, developed by the Swiss physician, Hermann Rorschach, in 1921. They refer to the efforts of sounding out the mysterious depths of the human subconscious. The plinths present the images at eye-level; however, rather than making a statement, these images demand interpretation. Andersson combines objects of modernism with elements of surrealism and psychology in numerous variations. He sets the clear contours of reason against the mysterious arabesques of emotion and poses as a questioner in the on-going cultural-philosophical discourse, which began with the Classic versus Romantic Movement.

“¨The global presence of the White Cube demonstrates that today rational thought reigns in dealing with art. Andersson comments on this issue with a touch of irony with his work “White Van”. The artist positions a VW Bus that is animated by moving lights at the rear of the exhibition area. They are the lights of a film, being played almost furtively in the bus, showing a night-time drive though a snow drift. The images are reminiscent of the Rorschach tests. The installation with the VW Bus imparts an impression of a storage room that one would find at the back of a showroom of a gallery. For many visitors to the gallery, a glance into a storage room is almost as interesting as a glance into an artist’s studio. Here and there one hopes to catch a glimpse of the hidden centre of creativity.

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