Beni Bischof has made a name for himself in recent years with witty and visually impressive works. With «Dumm schauen und Kekse fressen» (Looking Dumb and Eating Cookies») the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen is pleased to offer a platform and an experimental field to one of our most active and productive local artists.
Bischof’s work is characterised by intuitive gestures, cynical humour and an obvious predilection to chaos and mainly ranges through the classical art genres of painting, sculpture and drawing. In terms of content the young St. Gallen artist cannot be summed up under one heading despite a very visible interest in pop and underground. It is not surprising that Bischof looks for alternative and efficient opportunities to distribute his work, such as «Laser» magazine, which he sees as an art gallery and publishes around six times a year with a circulation of 12 to 80 as a photocopied zine. A special edition of «Laser» will also appear to accompany the exhibition.
People’s stupidity, the apparent meaninglessness and ridiculous nature of our actions and the dreariness of everyday life play a central role in Bischof’s works. The artist creates a lively and absurd cosmos through context shifts and frequently through the manipulation and modification of existing things. Besides music, literature and particularly TV programmes, gossip magazines, the knick-knacks of the consumer society and the most inexhaustible treasure trove, the internet, serve as inspiration and starting material for his penetratively funny and simultaneously slightly disturbing works.
«Dumm schauen und Kekse fressen» is Beni Bischof’s first solo exhibition at an institution. Besides smaller works he is primarily showing installation-like and large-scale works, a previously little known side of his output: A huge, accessible pile of plaster is a sculpture and exhibition space at the same time. The artist makes use of the size of the Kunst Halle with a mural – a starry sky made up of chewing gum, which projects the pavement into the exhibition space almost as a romanticised copy – and a room-filling installation of drawings. Simultaneously he wants to expand it still further: with telescopes, which themselves are placed in the room like sculptures, visitors can take a look outside. The back courtyard and the neighbouring building thus become expanded exhibition space. Bischof also allows a more detailed look at his own work, perhaps to put an end to the cookie eating and looking dumb.
Beni Bischof (* 1976, St. Gallen) studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Zurich (today's Zurich University of the Arts), as well as the Schule für Gestaltung (art school) St. Gallen. Solo exhibitions of the artist took place at the following galleries and institutions: Sommer & Kohl, Berlin; o.T., Raum für Aktuelle Kunst, Lucerne; Milieu Artspace/Galerie, Bern (2010); MURO, Geneva (2009) and Kunstraum Schalter, Basel (2007). Further, he participated in various group exhibitions, amongst them at Kunstraum Düsseldorf (2010); Perla Mode & Dienstgebäude, Zurich; CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux; Bear Ridgeway Exhibitions, San Francisco (2010); Galerie Paul Hafner, St. Gallen; Sommer & Kohl, Berlin; Fotomuseum Winterthur; Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich; Kunstgriff, Art Books Store, Zurich (2009). In 2010 Beni Bischof was awarded the Swiss Art Award by the Federal Office of Culture for the second time. www.benibischof.ch,www.lasermagazin.ch