Dawn Has Broken – Bianca Brunner

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Bianca Brunner – Dawn has broken
13th April – 19th May 2012
Opening 12th April, 6 – 8 pm

Bianca Brunner (b.1974, Chur) has a practice that is about photography and the image itself, but one that does not exclude a possible indexical relationship between image and subject. This first solo show by Brunner at BolteLang is entitled Dawn has broken.

Three works based on found landscape photographs, Clearing, Wilderness and Trail (all 2012), suggest both the daybreak and the new beginning implied in the exhibition title. These unidentified, generic scenes provide an opening and a location for the other series also presented, the majority of which are based on constructions assembled in the artist’s studio. Light is the common element to be found throughout – in the traces of time which have slowly marked the found photographs, for example, or in the overexposure that makes the slightly menacing white painted objects of Tank, Tower and Hide (2012) akin to photograms. For the three works in Early Morning Hours (2012) light catches green threads to form shapes by highlighting absences, continuing Brunner’s long interest in lacunae. Not for the first time, the eye cannot fix upon the artist’s subject with certainty, but is baffled by contradictory signals of surface and depth. This reflective effect is echoed in the triptych Towards Tomorrow (2012), whose forms are made in thread lines and black ink to create images that progress like a moving camera shutter or a rising and setting sun. While one thread series is photography, the original collage of the second is exhibited, though behind glass the difference is not immediately apparent, and orchestrates interplay of reality and reproduction.

Bianca Brunner refuses to be pigeonholed as either photographer or artist. Her works demonstrate a minimalism that is hard won, yet they are nonetheless deceptive and mercurial. She achieves this by revealing rather than camouflaging the elements she brings together; her studio walls, the grain of a painted ink surface or the strings that hold props in place are all in evidence. Brunner readily identifies with a current school of photography whose practitioners ‘excavate its language, process and materiality in new and familiar ways’ as Adam Bell puts it, joining a tradition of photography about photography that can be traced back to modernism[1]. Neatly sidestepping introversion, her work demonstrates the still complex relationship between a photograph and its intent and meaning.

Aoife Rosenmeyer

After her BA at the London College of Communication Bianca Brunner received her Masters degree in photography from the Royal College of Art in 2007. Since then she has exhibited extensively. Recent exhibitions include State of the Art – New Contemporary Photography, NRW Forum Düsseldorf, Germany (current), Voyage Around My Room, curated by Becky Beasley, Norma Mangione Gallery, Turin, Italy (2011), Just Photography, curated by ANCIENT&MODERN, London, UK and Martos Gallery, New York, USA (2011), Sky with Clouds and Water, 401 Contemporary, London, UK (solo, 2011), Teaching Photography, Folkwang Museum Essen, Germany (2010). In 2010 she won the Manor Kunstpreis followed by the exhibition Bianca Brunner. Gap in the Real, Manor Kunstpreis, Bündner Kunstmuseum, Chur, Switzerland. A catalogue (Gap in the Real, Bianca Brunner, Monograph, Scheidegger&Spiess, Zurich, Switzerland) was published on the occasion. In June 2012 Brunner will show new works at LISTE The Young Art Fair in Basel with BolteLang. A solo show at Rochester Art Center, MN, USA will take place later in the year.

[1] Adam Bell, Photographs About Photographs, in Lay Flat 02: Meta, Shane Lavalette and Michael Bühler-Rose ed.s., 2010

Exhibition documentation