ANNETTE AMBERG, Everything But Arms at Kunsthaus Glarus (Switzerland)
from 13 November 2011 – 22 January 2012
all images © WFW
ANNETTE AMBERG is a Swiss artist whose work question the complex relationship between identity and representation, constructed image and coded idea as well as the relationship between a private version and the official version of history by means of photographic material and sculptural elements.
For her first major solo exhibition at Kunsthaus Glarus (Switzerland) entitled Everything But Arms (a reference to the similarly named trade agreement between the EU and a series of less developed states), she presents sculptural concrete elements with the title Structure IV-VIII (2011) which refer to functional and aesthetic structures often used by VANN MOLYVANN and other Cambodia architects in the late fifties and the sixties, and have become an important trademark of regional South East Asian architecture.
Important to know is that the Cambodian architect VANN MOLYVANN was ANNETTE AMBERG‘s uncle and was born in Kampot, Cambodia, in 1926: In 1946 he travelled with a stipend as one of the first Khmer to Paris, in order to study law and later architecture. On returning to the now independent Cambodia, the architect soon received important commissions from the Prince and later head of state, NORODOM SIHANOUK, and helped design the rise of a modern civil society by adapting the techniques of the ‘International Style’ to local conditions while also drawing on Asian architectural traditions. With financial and technical support from international project sponsors and consultants such as the former associate of LE CORBUSIER, VLADIMIR BODIANSKY, in a short flowering of about 15 years hundreds of buildings were erected. The development was abruptly interrupted by the political tensions in South-East Asia and the subsequent regime of terror under the Red Khmer in the seventies.
Parallel to this the exhibition features a film work, Documentation (2011), and a series of stills, Untitled (Blvd. Mao Tse Toung 107, 2011), which was shot by herself as a tourist in Cambodia.
Her work was shown in solo exhibitions in the White Space in Zürich (2005), in Vrits in Basel (2008) and in the Aargauer Kunsthaus (2009) as part of the Caravan exhibition series. In the Munich Photo Museum (2006), Plattform 08 in the EWZ, Zürich (2008) and in the Kunsthaus Glarus (2010) the artists has been seen in group exhibitions. In addition to her art work ANNETTE AMBERG also works regularly as a curator. Together with the artist FABIAN MARTI she founded and directed the exhibition space Amberg & Marti from 2005 to 2007 and worked as an assistant curator at the Kunsthalle Basel until 2011.
Everything But Arms is actually on view at Kunsthaus Glarus through January 22nd, 2012.