press release

«I learned that just beneath the surface there’s another world, and still different worlds as you dig deeper. I knew it as a kid, but I couldn't find the proof. It was just a feeling. There is a goodness in those blue skies and flowers, but another force — a wild pain and decay – also accompanies everything.» David Lynch

‹Candy Colored Clown› — The title of our season opening exhibition stands for the condition of uncertainty, and may be read as an allegory of the unconscious. Generally, the uncanny denotes inexplicable, partly scary phenomena that touch upon the unfamilar, indeed on all that arouses dread and creeping horror. So whereas the uncanny evokes fear on the one hand, it exerts a fascinating appeal on the other. The works assembled for ‹Candy Colored Clown› concern themselves with representations of reality and fiction, explore the alien within ourselves, ignore barriers, invite contradiction, and provoke deliberation on social norms and normalcies. Running through this body of work as crucial parameters are their artists’ underlying humour and a love for detail.

Occupying 300 square metres of sublevel architecture expanding beneath our gallery, ‹Candy Colored Clown› brings together various genres, ranging from contemporary grotesque over provocative, contemporary surrealism to installation and humour. This themed group exhibition rests on an aesthetics of effect and perception fuelled by the tension between the visible and the concealed, the mysterious lying behind what meets the eye. The ideas and concepts presented in ‹Candy Colored Clown› harbour a hidden secret, which may emerge at any time from the invisible to unsettle sheltered domesticity in the shape of the uncanny or the extraordinary.

In his 1919 essay The Uncanny, Freud described the uncanny as «that class of the terrifying which leads back to something long known to us, once very familiar», and as that which feeds on «the repeatedly repressed». Freud reached this conclusion following his etymological analysis of the German word unheimlich (literally, the ‹unhomely›, as he added in a footnote), in which he sought to shed light on the relation between the the signifier and the signified: thus, the homely (heimlich, heimisch), which is at first ‹familiar,› ‹belongs to the home,› and is ‹hidden› from the world outside, can become the uncanny — namely, when it is meant to remain ‹secret› and to be ‹kept from sight›, only to suddenly burst into the province of life from its concealment. As Freud observes, ‹Unheimlich is in some way or other a sub-species of heimlich.›

Beni Bischof, born in St. Gallen (Switzerland) in 1976. Selected exhibitions: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Helmhaus Zürich, Museum Marta Herford, The Fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Kunstraum Düsseldorf, CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art Bordeaux. He lives and works in St. Gallen and Widnau.

Fritz Bornstück, born in Weilburg (Germany) in 1982. Until the summer of 2012, he further developed his work during a two-year residency at De Ateliers (Amsterdam). He graduated from Thomas Zipp's master class at Berlin University of the Arts with a BA in Fine Arts in 2009. He lives and works in Berlin.

Chad Burt, born in Digby (Nova Scotia, Canada) in 1978. He studied visual art at Mount Allison University (New Brunswick) and holds an MA in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London. He was artist-in-residence at De Ateliers in Amsterdam from 2011 to 2013. He lives and works in Amsterdam.

Jacob Dwyer, born in London in 1988, studied fine art at Newcastle University. He holds an MA in Experimental Film from Kingston University, London. He has spent the last two years as an artist-in-residence at De Ateliers, Amsterdam. He lives and works in Amsterdam.

Sabine Schlatter, born in Zurich (Switzerland) in 1977. She studied Fine Arts at Zurich University of the Arts and was awarded a two-year artist-in-residency (2009–2011) by The Binz39 Foundation. From 2008 to 2010, she was a member of the artist collective ‹eggerschlatter›, which had several exhibitions and received various grants. She lives and works in Zurich.

Gregor Schneider, born in Rheydt (Germany) in 1969. He studied at Düsseldorf and Münster art academies from 1989 to 1992. In the late 1980s, Schneider began converting his home into what he called the Haus u r (the u r house). Today he is one of Germany’s best known visual artists. His magnum opus, ‹Totes Haus u r› (Dead House u r), for which he received the Golden Lion at the 2001 Venice Biennale, is one of the most important contemporary works of spatial art. He lives and works in Mönchengladbach-Rheydt.