Exhibitionin Zürich / Switzerland
Mai 36 Galerie is pleased to present “Species”, a group show featuring legendary Swiss artist HR Giger, alongside works by Maren Karlson, Berenice Olmedo and Hiroki Tsukuda.
Hans Ruedi Giger (1940-2014) was a Swiss artist whose work had a lasting effect on the popular imagination of the latter half of the twentieth century. In cultural history, Giger is particularly known as the creator of the monster in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film ‘Alien’. However, his dystopian vision has influenced pop culture far beyond that: Through surreal sculptures, prints and designs, he created a dark, psychedelic-looking world of figures that oscillates between dream/reality, life/death, man/machine.
Today, the themes or genres that Giger dealt with over several decades are more topical than ever among artists: in a world dedicated to progress and therefore machine development, an examination of existentialism is almost inevitable – the utopia of underworlds, human/physical decay and the sovereignty of machines, can be perfectly located in Giger’s fantastic realism.
The exhibition “Species” demonstrates how influential Giger’s work was and still is: the works on view not only confirm his pioneering existence, but also illustrate his extraordinary relevance in contemporary art.
Maren Karlson‘s (b. 1988, Germany) visual language initially evokes something extraterrestrial, as constellations of oblong shapes reveal a strange affinity between automobile parts – such as a car dashboard or engine – and abstracted human anatomy. The imperfect symmetry and narrow landscape format resembles both futuristic machinery and an ancient sarcophagus. Karlson’s gradated palette accentuates the shallowness of some divots and the darker depths of other ovoid, seemingly viscous openings.
Berenice Olmedo‘s (b. 1987, Mexico) indeterminate, corporeal and technological sculptures look neither human nor animal, perhaps insectoid, yet not quite organic. Through her work the artist argues for a reconsideration of what defines the human in order to finally and fully include those who do not match the white, Western, masculine, able-bodied norm. She dispossesses the human of its claim of wholeness and foregrounds the political dimensions of disability, illness, and care. Olmedo’s recuperation of forms and materials from the arsenal of medicine aims to transform the prosthesis from a mechanical solution for a supposed bodily defect into an existential technology that unveils the nature of what it is to be human now.
Hiroki Tsukuda‘s (b. 1978, Japan) drawings on yellowish paper and digital collage works explore the turbulent, futuristic cityscapes of his imaginings. Created with meticulous detail, these intricate, not completely monochromatic works illustrate collapsed spaces, in which mechanized worlds merge with sci-fi mythos in states of controlled chaos and organic mutation.
Gallery hours Tue – Fri 11 am – 6.30 pm, Sat 11 am – 5 pm
Exhibition Duration 20 January – 18 March 2023
Mai 36 Galerie