Swantje Hielscher – Minus zero

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Swantje Hielscher — Minus zero
Opening 28th May 2009, 6-8 pm

BolteLang is pleased to present a solo exhibition by German artist Swantje Hielscher (b.1980). Her work, both in form and content, is marked by determined simplicity and confidence in her gestures. She creates works that are reduced to a minimum in form, while they find their own balance, be that between subjectivity and universality, sensuality and severity, word and image, physics and immateriality, moment and infinity.

The window space of the gallery displays Sculpture (47°23’15.93”N 8°31’38.72”E), a work made up of a ladder and a telescope. These combined ready-mades have a relation to the space around them, either a physical exploration or an expansion of perception. Swantje Hielscher provokes a consideration of the limits one sets for oneself with a gesture that declares to be independent of aesthetic arrangement. Indeed the artist consistently waives the act of conscious composition, but rather makes the interrogation of media and site itself the subject of repeated study. Any gestures she makes are reduced to the simplest possible form, resulting in a kind of post-minimalism that is in keeping with art historical tradition, whilst also paring away background and constructs that could come between viewer and work. Thus the potential of both ladder and telescope are immediately apparent, yet the work can also be considered a moment in the history and science of perception, which exists symbiotically with the history of art.

Swantje Hielscher affirms both the manual attempt of achieving traceless neutrality, and its inevitable, catalytic crash into complex limitations. This dynamic balance of precision and freedom is inherent in the light work Unireverse installed in the BolteLang project room. The four parts spell the trade names of neon colours as written in the artist’s hand, her loose signature gesture then duplicated exactly by the manufacturer; the media and meaning are, however, at odds, as each is a different primary colour to the words it writes. Unireverse happens upon entering this spatial counter rotation of seeing and reading, in the sensorial experience of its physical being.

Swantje Hielscher lives in Berlin. Her work has been exhibited at Kunsthalle Basel (2008), Kunstverein Arnsberg (2008), Zendai Museum of modern art Shanghai (2006), Kunstverein Hannover (2005) and MAMCO, Geneva (2004).

The exhibition runs from 29th May – 11th July 2009.

Special event:
Denken auf der Spur, a lecture by German philosopher Marcus Steinweg Friday, 29th May 2009, 7 pm.

Exhibition documentation