Marianne Halter, Christian Falsnaes

Artist talks: Marianne Halter and Christian Falsnaes

17 April 2015

Marianne Halter lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland. She studied at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and works as a visual artist both in her own capacity and in collaboration with the musician Mario Marchisella.
Her work comprises different media such as video, photography, drawing and installation. Her interest lies in the constitutive relationship between society and architecture, how personal signs or actions of people feature or impact on public space. She examines her environment and the given conditions, by showing it from a surprising perspective or by interfering in it with unusal actions.

Performance is at the heart of Christian Falsnaes’ work: his actions are presented live or filmed, with or without an audience, and with the human as study object and material. The artist employs a multitude of visual forms, including painting, video, music and dance, to develop situations with the active participation of the audience. Recurrent themes are the relations between the individual and the group, and those between the artist and his audience.
Falsnaes engages in a thorough, physical exploration of a wide range of issues of social codes, group dynamics, power relations, authorship, gender roles and more. One of the forms this exploration has crystallized in, are the series of unannounced performances in which the artist directed the audience in several roles: from didactic artist to actor, from authoritarian leader to entertainer, clown, hooligan, and outcast. Increasingly, however, Falsnaes develops performative formats in which he himself is not physically present, making use of an interactive app, telephone connection, or stand-in.

In other instances, he examines how the particular situation of a performance may facilitate the creation of a video piece. The video does not function as a documentation of the action then, but as an autonomous piece that is realized with the help of a script and camera team. On the occasion of his recent nomination for the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Christian Falsnaes will exhibit at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin in Fall 2015. Until May 3rd of this year, his solo show Available can be seen at Kunstverein Braunschweig. Recently, he has also had solo exhibitions at Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld (2015); PSM, Berlin (2014); Art Basel Statements, Art 45 Basel (2014); KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin (2013); and DREI, Cologne (2013).