World on a Wire

Karin Karinna Bühler, Silvie & Chérif Defraoui, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Georg Gatsas, Andy Guhl, Alexander Hahn, Mona Hatoum, Peter Liechti, MANON, Matthew McCaslin, Norbert Möslang, Jason Rhoades, Pipilotti Rist, Keith Sonnier, Aleksandra Signer, Roman Signer

24 Oktober 2020 to 7 March 2021


Installation art with projections, neon, and fluorescent lights as well as video art depend on a constant flow of electrical energy. New technologies have always offered new aesthetic and conceptual possibilities that artists have used intensively since the late 1960s. Precisely because this rapidly changing technology is part of everyday life and reflects the rapid and contradictory developments of the present, its messages are particularly relevant.

Artists such as Silvie and Chérif Defraoui, Alexander Hahn, Aleksandra and Roman Signer, Pipilotti Rist or Matthew McCaslin have continuously pushed forward the development of art with new media and decidedly contemporary metaphors. All the artists are represented with major works in the collection of the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen and will enter into a special discourse in this exhibition, inspired by a visionary early television film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, which he created in 1973 based on the science fiction novel Simulacron-3 by Daniel F. Galouye (1920–1976). The world is not what it seems, and this is all the more true of reports about it. Only reflection makes things clearer: as Descartes stated, “Je pense donc je suis.” Manon’s central series of photographs La dame au crâne rasé, created in Paris in 1977, uniquely distills the atmosphere of the time, the individual feeling of the body, and the isolation of living in the anonymous city. The parallels to the experience of the lockdown in 2020 are striking, and the resulting distortions are more disorienting than ever.

Curator: Roland Wäspe