Sam Pulitzer: The Premise of a Better Life

Sam Pulitzer: The Premise of a Better Life

Kunsthaus Glarus

Sam Pulitzer, The Premise of a Better Life (detail), 2019. Digital c-print. Courtesy the artist.

October 22, 2019
Sam Pulitzer
The Premise of a Better Life
October 27, 2019–January 1, 2020
Opening: October 26, 6pm
Artist talk with Sam Pulitzer: October 27, 3pm
Kunsthaus Glarus
Im Volksgarten
CH - 8750 Glarus
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–6pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T 41 0 55 640 25 35
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“Can you afford yourself?” “Are you waiting for a moment that won’t come?” Sam Pulitzer speaks directly to us, the viewers, with a series of photographs that are at the centre of his exhibition at Kunsthaus Glarus. In addition to several generic, nonspecific landscapes and cityscapes, the images depict details of everyday things or places: a bouquet of flowers, a derelict shop, a sign, fresh-baked bread. These distanced, pedestrian, yet seductive motifs serve as literal backdrops for the questions the artist poses. For whom are they intended? Are they testing us, the audience, or we the artists and those interested on a particular attitude or are they a self-inquiry? If we think we have made out an addressee or a clear, critical position, the next question may well lead us off in a different direction again. The questions that accrue, which bring into play truisms regarding the relationship between the individual and society, between life and work, create a supposed intimacy. They are about potential individuality. What kind of life do we lead and what kind of life do you lead? How can we optimize it and in what ways do we want to improve it? The Premise of a Better Life is directed as well inward; not only to Sam Pulitzer, the individual, but perhaps to a nebulous “we,” that could be directed toward anyone. Under which material and political conditions are artists working today? What does authorship mean? The photographs portray New York almost without exception. The nondescript, rarely location-specific images do not seek to document the city, but to portray New York as a “sunken horizon,” a pale reflection of a model city, a center of attraction and a place of longing. Unique and yet exemplary. Although Sam Pulitzer consistently incorporates written language into his works as well as quotes from literature and pop culture, thus suggesting an accessible readability at first glance, his way of speaking to audiences directly is often encrypted. The authorship, as well as potential readership of the texts remains unclear. Some sources are decoded, others deliberately kept hidden. Time and again, Sam Pulitzer’s work deals with distance, with formal reduction, gaps and voids, which are set in opposition to a (visual) promise.

The exhibition is curated by Judith Welter.


Parallel on view at Kunsthaus Glarus: 

Just Another Story about Leaving
October 27, 2019–March 1, 2020
An exhibition about the collections of the Glarner Kunstverein curated by Michèle Graf, Selina Grüter and Sveta Mordovskaya in collaboration with Stefan Wagner.

With works by Carl Andre, Eva Barto, Helen Dahm, Maria Eichhorn, Max Ernst, Christine Gallati, Hermann Haller, David Hockney, views of a 1997 installation by Zoe Leonard, a title by Urs Lüthi, Bridget Riley, Vre Tschudi, unknown artist, Edouard Vallet, Louis Auguste Veillon and David Wojnarowicz.

The exhibitions are supported by: Dr. Georg und Josi Guggenheim-Stiftung, Stiftung Sandoz – Fondation de Famille, Stiftung Anne-Marie Schindler, 
US Embassy Bern, Migros Kulturprozent, Swisslos Kulturfonds Kanton Glarus, Glarner Kantonalbank

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Kunsthaus Glarus
October 22, 2019

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