141013: Aargauer Kunsthaus: Dieter Meier – In Conversation

Aargauer Kunsthaus Dieter Meier – In Conversation 07.09.2103 – 17.11.2013 One-Man – Many Shows By Sonja Gasser The artistic activity of the Zürich artist, Dieter Meier, began at the end of the 60's with performance and concept art and has continued to this day. However, he is better known to most people as a member of the music group, Yello. Now there's the opportunity to get to know his artistic works better in the Aargau Art House in Aarau. Meier has a dispassionate approach to art which is surprisingly convincing. He repeatedly causes a sensation by among others, putting people in the focal point and encroaching on social hierarchy. In retrospect to his beginnings, he had his fingers on the pulse of time with this procedure: in Zürich in 1970, he tracked every person who walked on the Helvetiaplatz by laying a strip of metal marking their steps, a "confirmation of walk". As can be seen in the news reports from that time, in so doing, he catered on the one hand for attention and on the other, for perplexity and scepticism. Half a year later on the streets of New York, and armed with a tape recorder, he bought a "Yes" or "No” for one dollar and created a certificate with photo. It's the reaction of the passersby which, in both cases, constitutes the artistic work, whilst written concepts, documentary photography and press reports manifest and pass on the existence of the works. This use of different individual media, but also the tendency of the mass media for its own ends is a hallmark of artistic activity in the 1970's. A broadcast by Swiss television is interrupted and over a period of one minute, a fixed image of the portrait of the artist is screened. Telephone calls from outraged viewers promptly flood the broadcasting corporation. The 1945 Zürich-born Meier also receives a certain amount of attention in art circles which is bound up with the art scene of the city and Switzerland: a photo series shows the young Bice Curiger who, under the guidance of Meier, implemented a performance. Taking part in the Documenta 1972 under the direction of Harald Szeemann, he used the occasion to install a floor plate in front of Kassel's main station. On 23 March 1994, he said that he personally would stand on it for one hour. He kept his promise, as is stated in a report in the program, 10vor10, broadcast by the Swiss television 22 years ago. The newscaster also showed particular humour by informing about the exact place and time during the moderation when he could be seen in the next broadcast. Whilst his early conceptual works are less suitable for the public and rather create incomprehension, gaudy colourful music videos achieved great popularity in the 1980's. The joint success with Boris Blank in the electro pop group, Yello, is indicative of Meier's creativity in which appearances in different forms are closely connected to artistic creativity. A photo series from 1974 is composed of 48 portraits in which the artist plays different roles and poses. The embodiment of different characters stands, on the one hand, for the purpose of an artistic self-staging as it became known through Cindy Sherman. On the other hand, in 2005 he added new shots to some of these photographs and in 2012, added a video to it, so that a biographic development of these fictitious figures can be understood. Here, too, the conceptual approach and the continuity which run through all Meier's creative works, are evident. A conspicuous constant over all the years and up to the present is his characteristic moustache, whether he appears in public as a magician of photography or in a video clip. The Aargauer Art House invites you to go on a voyage of discovery through the abundant works of a, till now relatively rarely honoured artist. Besides photographs, sculptures, videos, performative works and music clips integrated into the exhibition, testimonials from newspapers and TV which contain witty details have also been displayed. Aargauer Kunsthaus 5001 Aarau, Aargauerplatz Tel: +41 62 835 23 30 Fax: +41 62 835 23 29 http://www.aargauerkunsthaus.ch Opening hours: Tue - Sun 10:00 - 17:00 hours, Thu 10:00 - 20:00 hours

Aargauer Kunsthaus
5001 Aarau, Aargauerplatz
Tel: +41 62 835 23 30, Fax: +41 62 835 23 29
Öffnungszeiten: Di - So 10:00 - 17:00, Do 10:00 - 20:00

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