12th April – 9th June 2003
Aleksandra Mir, artist living in New York, presents "Welcome back to Earth" at Kunsthalle St. Gallen. The exhibition brings together new and early works from the internationally renowned artist, throwing a bridge from her performance "First Woman on the Moon" to her newest project "Plane Landing".
"First Woman on the Moon"
On 28 August 1999, massive drilling and digging vehicles transformed for one night and one day a sandy beach in the Netherlands into a "moonscape". Through radio and television, "First Woman on the Moon" was broadcasted as a historical event through numerous interviews and press releases. The video shows how the beach is transformed, how the panorama of impressive craters and hills was created, and how the tension builds up. Three TV stations are on location. The soundtrack of Mir's video, combining freshly composed music with original 1969 NASA broadcasts, creates a surreal atmosphere and underlines that an important event is happening. At dusk, the high point of the ceremony on the imaginary moon is near. Aleksandra Mir plants the American flag in the sand, on the summit of a dune.
"First Woman on the Moon" brings out questions on the accuracy and manipulation of facts. At the same time, it is a performance, a sculpture, "Land art" and a huge playground.
"Welcome Back to the Earth"
Aleksandra Mir's interests lay in the connections between publicity, science, media and economy. In "Aviation Archive", produced by Kunsthalle St. Gallen, she lines up hundreds of books on a shelf. On every cover, either a picture of a plane or a sky can be found. This "flight archive" is a collection of metaphors and symbols and shows how archetypes are transformed into visual codes. More objects relating to lunar flights and aviation are exhibited, like for instance an original badge imprinted with the NASA welcome message that Aleksandra Mir uses as title to her exhibition.
is the title of Aleksandra Mir's new project. A large CAD-Plot (9 x 3 m) shows the scale plans of a hot air balloon in the shape of a long distance airplane. During a happening taking place on 13 September 2003, the 20 meter long prototype will be brought to fly over the Säntis and will hang in the air, as a peaceful monumental artwork. The exhibition "Welcome Back to Earth" acts as promotional kick-off for "Plane Landing".
Regula Engeler, young artist from Eastern Switzerland, has been working with film as her main medium for five years. Her short movies are hand filmed, minimal pictures of time and space. Kunsthalle St. Gallen exhibits her new film: "Voyages Opaques", along with 50 earlier short films.
In her works she shows intensive motions she has found in different places. She follows minimalist gestures with her camera, the effect is that our usual ways of looking at our environment is slightly altered. She looks for the interstitial and hidden spaces of our usual models of perception and puts them in the foreground. The viewer experiences sometimes insecurity, that can be physically felt.
Many of her Super-8 films are silent. She has only recently started using noises and soundtracks, to accentuate the uncanny in her short movies.
"Voyages Opaques" is composed of many film fragments. An opaque journey, like a dream, simulates different travels happening at the same time. As Godard wrote: "The most interesting thing about cinema or picture making, is that one gives others the opportunity to find themselves at many places simultaneously."