Jahic / Roethlisberger: Showcase I. Exhibition including guest artist Christian Andersson at Projektraum M54 in Basel, Switzerland. Vernissage, April 21, 2017.
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In the work of Admir Jahic and Comenius Roethlisberger, chance always plays a part. Paint flow- ing over glass, for instance, can’t always be controlled. And because this is not an artist duo in which one thinks and the other does, but instead both do both, each work is an interaction between what their hands do and what chance wills.
But is it even be possible to form this process any other way? Exert more influence? Or distribute roles differently? Admir Jahic and Comenius Roethlisberger took 12 months’ time (out) to answer these questions. Not that they relaxed, rather in the course of countless discussions they questioned their activities, focused on their work together and developed methods for investigating it. One central question that drove them in all of this – what happens when people with different ideas meet?
The result is apparent in new works that the duo will present to the public at three stages over the coming months. And because their sabbatical also saw them cutting back on their gallery relationships so they could think and work in complete freedom, they are organising the three showcases themselves, at frequent intervals in the months of April to June in three different locations in Basel. For each showcase they will spend a week working on the presentation, but the result is always open from the start. It then comes into contact with the public for two days, before launch into the next project.
Interaction between individuals and what comes out of it – this a key component of the new works, driven by their thinking in recent years. They have further expanded this domain for the presentations and for each exhibition they are inviting an artist friend to interact with them. In the first show this will be Swedish artist Christian Andersson (www.christianandersson.net) with his video work “Dreamcatcher”, in the second the Basel artist Sandra Knecht (Chnächt, www.sandraknecht.ch), who will experiment with the senses in her performance.
And the third? The third interactive partner is not yet decided, nor the location. Because even when the 12 month sabbatical is over, the process continues. And perhaps chance will play a part here as well – who knows?
Text: Karen Gerig