October 29 – December 28, 2003
Swiss artist Christoph Büchel creates hyper-realistic environments that are, in essence, like walking into a mind at work. His detailed installations are three-dimensional renderings of interior spaces and/or situations that often convey extreme psychological mindsets, such as that of a survivalist, a homeless person, or an agoraphobe. These fictitious yet highly believable environments – rooms within rooms – are carefully constructed so that the institutional framework of the art museum and all reference to the gallery context are removed.
A complexity is found in the elaborate detail the artist develops for each project, an artistic sensibility that allows layers of social and political commentary to permeate within a uniquely contemplative space. Büchel locates contradictions and social inequities in the ideological forces dominating society today (global capitalism, unprincipled consumption, religious conservatism, American hegemony) and finds a way through his work to satirize, demystify, and resist these forces by revealing them as constructed realities subject to change.
The focus of Büchel’s installation at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions will be replicas of missiles, bombs, and other military equipment stashed away as if hidden and forgotten in a small waiting room, discovered only after walking through a series of adjacent rooms and doors. A fascinating environment to experience, the installation will be understood as a commentary on past and present military agendas.
This exhibition has been organized for Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions by Julie Deamer and Shirley Morales, in partnership with Hollywood Hills House, an international residency program in Los Angeles in which Christoph Büchel is currently in residence for three months. Selected solo exhibitions include 1998 Home Affairs TBA Exhibition Space, Chicago; 1999 Homeless Depot Four Walls, San Francisco; 2000 Joy of Institution Kunstmuseum St. Gallen; 2001 Kunst Inc. Maccarone Inc., New York, 2002; Capital Affair, Helmhaus Zurich; Shelter Haus der Kunst, Munich; 2003 Palace of the People, Bucharest, O.K-Centrum für Gegenwartskunst, Linz (cat.). This exhibition will mark Christoph Büchel’s first exhibition in Los Angeles.