152 x 52 x 5 cm
Resin, wood, iron
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by the UBS Art Collection
Rost No. 3 [Rust no. 3]
For the last thirty years or so, Beat Zoderer (born 1955 in Zurich, Switzerland) has been focusing on methods of deconstruction and decontextualization. Zoderer’s self-proclaimed starting point is the concept of “bi” in the sense of the ambivalent relationship or dichotomy between art and everyday life, banality and dignity, economy and waste, or system and chance. In the 1980s, he concentrated primarily on the deconstruction of used everyday objects. Then, after deciding that recycling had become more and more a fashion trend in the 1990s, he took a new direction and has since continued to visualize ambivalent reference systems in the form of goods from department and hardware stores. He works with sheet protectors, adhesive labels, folders, rubber rings, and pieces of plywood, foam, tin, and wool, using simple techniques like gluing, weaving, milling, or stamping. With apparent ease, he combines geometric systems of order with non-artistic materials to create an aesthetics that works “against the grain” by combining “high and low.” He transforms colored protector sheets into an homage to transparency, piles strips of foam into “infinite pillars,” and revives Constructivist principles of order in the form of woven strips of metal, wool, or strips of fabric for bodices. In analogy to the character of the works, titles like “Mieder” and “Langeweilebilder” also play with double entendres. Was the artist bored when painting the “Langeweilebilder” or is he referring to the reaction of beholders? While Zoderer draws us in with sensuous opulence, below the surface of his playful attitude and technical accuracy lies a subversive intention in that his theme of “bi” or duality clearly refers to a key issue in the postmodern debate concerning the status of art and society and how they relate to one another.
Within Zoderer’s oeuvre – which includes works on paper, sculptures, floor and wall objects, as well as installations and interventions – it is the installations and interventions that best display his masterful engagement with space. He has successfully continued this engagement in public and semi-public interventions and has also realized art-in-architecture projects in many cities, including Basel, Rheinau, Zurich, and Berlin.