020209: Kunstmuseum Bern: Ego Documents – The Autobiographical in Contemporary Art

Kunstmuseum Bern: Ego Documents – The Autobiographical in Contemporary Art Constructions of the ego A stream of water is cutting its way through heaps of stuff, all of which turns out to be the entire content of Isabelle Krieg’s studio in Fribourg. Her curriculum is flowing through the exhibition “Ego Documents” at the Kunstmuseum Bern, and stages the artistic existence as a relationship to objects as well as a poetic liberation: after this exhibit is over, Krieg is contemplating to quasi begin anew in her now empty studio after this ballast has been shed. The exhibition “Ego Documents – The Autobiographical in Contemporary Art” is the debut of the Berner Kunstmuesum’s new curator, the 40-year old Kathleen Bühler. This complex eclectic show presents constructions of the self, created by 21 artists and offering numerous highlights. Unfortunately, classic Swiss positions including Manon’s or Urs Lüthi’s role-plays were left out. And it is incomprehensible why no reference is made to the James Lee Byars’ exhibit, which is taking place at the same time. Supported by the Stiftung GegenwART, the Austrian artist Elke Krystufek is the artist in residence. Her colourful statements in wild painted letters sprawl far beyond the boundaries of the space allocated to her. They do not halt before Louis Bourgeois’ and Martin Kippenberger’s works, and not even before those in the neighbouring room, where she even amends On Kawara’s depersonalized “date paintings” with the words “too late”. At first, Krystufek’s trashy aesthetics come across like impious scribbling, but in the end they are also a challenge to the conditions stipulated by the institution museum, and the drawing up of a border by a curator. White overpainting is proof of the artist’s subsequent censorship, offering more than topics to discuss regarding the constraints as well as the freedom of artists in the art system. Yet the placid Berne keeps silent: maybe due to ignorance, possibly due to tolerance. Sylvia Mutti Kunstmuseum Bern 3000 Bern, Hodlerstrasse 12, until 15.02.09 www.kunstmuseumbern.ch

Kunstmuseum Bern
3000 Bern, Hodlerstrasse 12
Tel: +41 31 328 09 44, Fax: +41 31 328 09 55
Email: info@kunstmuseumbern.ch
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