19th August – 29th October 2017
Opening: Fri, 18 August, 6 p.m.
Guided Tour I / Introduction for Teachers: Tues, 22 August, 6 p.m.
Museum Night: Sat, 9 September, 6 p.m.
Painting Afternoon: Wed, 20 September, 2 p.m.
Strapazin Release Event: Thurs, 21 September, 6 p.m.
Art Snack: Thurs, 28 September, 12.30 p.m.
Art Lunch: Thurs, 12 October, 12 noon
Guided Tour II: Sun, 29 October, 3 p.m.
Precise observation of the people around them is often the starting point of the artistic collaboration of Rico Scagliola (*1985, Uster/CH) and Michael Meier (*1982, Chur/CH). The artist duo collects audiovisual attributes which construct the identities of individual people or groups and examine how they behave in relation to the self-perception of a social collective. Using this method they create an impressive picture of contemporary life.
At Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, their first comprehensive solo exhibition, Scagliola & Meier are showing a selection of photographs from their latest photographic series. Following the strategies of ‘street photography’, over the last years they photographed people from all sorts of milieux, of all ages and various origins unnoticed in public, semi public and privatised urban space. In various cities — including Zurich, Paris, New York and Beirut — they chose locations where the generally visible social life of a society takes place, where people pursue certain everyday rites and their representative selves and forms of conduct outside of their private sphere can be seen particularly clearly: streets and squares, cafés, railway stations and shopping centres.
The urban centres — designed for architectonic transparency and optimised for commercial use — are so similar that it cannot be seen from the photographs where they were taken. How this anonymous city-centre architecture influences the behaviour of passers-by is the focus of Scagliola & Meier’s interest. In the process the artists’ gaze is always directed towards the people and their attempts to demonstrate their original selves in the face of the mainstream — an aspiration, however, that is doomed to failure because ultimately they move within it.
While with the photographic works Rico Scagliola & Michael Meier succeed in creating a topical appraisal of the generally visible, everyday life of various social classes, their new work Together concentrates on a group of youngsters. At the last autumn fair in Basel they filmed teenagers in slow motion on the ‘Tagada’ carousel, a popular meeting place. The film precisely depicts the insatiable need for validation and self-staging that drives the youngsters and which the artist duo examined intensively in their work Neue Menschen (2011).
Extracts from a collection of conversation fragments extend the exhibition on a textual level: Scagliola & Meier bring together snippets heard by chance on the street, friends’ stories and monologues from YouTube videos into a ‘(main)stream of consciousness’, in which banal everyday experiences are cited just as much as personal confessions.
Parallel to the exhibition the publication «years later...» consisting of an illustrated book and the text book «hours later...» is being issued by Edition Patrick Frey.
Rico Scagliola (*1985 in Uster/CH, lives and works in Zurich) and Michael Meier (*1982 in Chur/CH, lives and works in Zurich) work together since 2008. The works of the artist duo have been shown at the following exhibitions: Zu Gast im Atelier Hermann Haller, Atelier Hermann Haller, Zurich (solo exhibition); Werkschau 2016, Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; The Bad Mood Show, Plymouth Rock (2016); Building Modern Bodies, Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich; Swiss Art Awards, Basel (2015); Klöntal Triennale,Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus/CH; Das Schwache Geschlecht, Kunstmuseum Bern, Berne/CH (2014); Twisted Sisters, Museum Bärengasse, Zurich (2013); Junge Menschen, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur/CH; Colasel, Drei – Raum für Gegenwartskunst, Cologne/DE (2012); Eins, Sinka+Weiss, Zurich (2011); Hypnose, Nicolas Krupp Contemporary Art, Basel (solo exhibition) (2010).
The exhibition was supported by Fachstelle Kultur Kanton Zürich, Volkart Stiftung, Stiftung Erna und Curt Burgauer and Swisslos/Kulturförderung Kanton Graubünden.