Alex Hanimann

BEHIND THE MIRROR
August 26, 2017 – October 7, 2017

From the abundance of pieces of information and images which Hanimann collects, sorts and files he manages to rebuilt new bridges to already acquainted issues. What do we perceive, which meanings do we assign to what we see? Hanimann’s signs, images, mirror images are at first sight legible but unfold soon after an ironic and playful potential which doesn’t answer any questions but only raises new ones. In ‘Behind The Mirror’ Hanimann explores the behaviour of caged canary birds under diverse conditions. What he found behind the mirror–if he found–will be apparent in the show.

For this exhibition Alex Hanimann reaches deeply into the bag. ‘Behind The Mirror’ picks up familiar elements from Hanimann’s works, varies the already seen and extends the already experienced: Canary birds are being presented in a new experimental arrangement and define along with text works the setting.

In ‘Behind The Mirror’ he has put together the canary birds in groups of different sizes and in different cages. A mirror ensures an additional complication in the set-up: does the lone bird recognise itself in the mirror? Does it feel lonely or are the other birds in the nearby cages close enough to keep it company? And what about the visitors? Are they only observers, or are they becoming part of the set-up by their pure presence. How do they react?

Precise observation is a characteristic of almost all live beings. By the use of sensory organs we perceive our sur- rounding. Our sensors report what is happening outside of our body in order to react–a vital ability. By observing, comparing and analysing we can draw conclusions and consequences–develop models and establish order in our system.

To arrange, sort, rearrange and hence questioning is a recurring procedure in Hanimann’s work. Every image that he draws, every word that he writes is only a–small–part of a bigger idea, part of an archetype. It is in this endeavour approaching that idea by means of an immense number of images where the density of Hanimann’s work becomes apparent. And yet, even when the summ of images was infinite it could never describe the archetype. ‘Limit’ is the term in mathematics for this condition: there is only approach, no contact. No cover ratio.

From the abundance of pieces of information and images which Hanimann collects, sorts and files he manages to rebuilt new bridges to already acquainted issues. What do we perceive, which meanings do we assign to what we see? Hanimann’s signs and images are at first sight legible but unfold soon after an ironic and playful potential which doesn’t answer any questions but only raises new ones.

Alex Hanimann lives and works in St. Gallen and Zurich. He completed his studies at the School of Fine Arts in Zurich. In 1987 he co-founded the Kunsthalle St. Gallen. Since 1998, he is professor at the Zurich University of the Arts. His works have been presented in numerous solo shows, such as at the Museum im Bellpark Kriens, Bündner Kunstmuseum, Aargauer Kunsthaus, MAMCO Genf and Kunsthalle St. Gallen. 

Exhibition

August 26 – October 7, 2017

Opening reception:
Saturday, August 26, 2017, 3–10 pm

3 pm
Opening reception

4 pm
Welcome adress

5 pm
Exhibition tour

6 pm
Summer party

Sunday, August 27, 2017, 11 am–4 pm

Long weekend:
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 11 am–9 pm
Sunday, September 24, 2017, 11 am–4 pm

Opening hours:
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 2–6 pm
Saturday 11 am–4 pm
and by appointment