June 17, 2014 - Kunsthaus Baselland - Sarah Oppenheimer and Ariel Schlesinger
June 17, 2014

Sarah Oppenheimer and Ariel Schlesinger

Left: Ariel Schlesinger, L’angloisse de la page blanche, 2014. Paper, wood, electric motor, cans, 40 x 75 x 55 cm.
Courtesy Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv. Right: Sarah Oppenheimer, 33-D, 2014. A Project for the Kunsthaus Baselland. Aluminium, glass and architecture.

Sarah Oppenheimer
23 May–7 September 2014

Ariel Schlesinger
23 May–6 July 2014

Kunsthaus Baselland
St. Jakob-Strasse 170
4132 Muttenz/Basel

T +41 61 312 83 88
office [​at​] kunsthausbaselland.ch


Kunsthaus Baselland present the works of the New York-based artist Sarah Oppenheimer (b. 1972) and the Berlin-based artist Ariel Schlesinger (b. 1980).

Sarah Oppenheimer, born 1972 and living in New York, presents her first institutional exhibition in Europe at the Kunsthaus Baselland. 

Developed in response to pre-existing architectural conditions, 33-D reconfigures the interior space of the Kunsthaus along the building’s structural grid. Two large glass sheets are mounted at a 45-degree angle to the external skin of the building. Each glass plane creates a traversable threshold, mapping unexpected trajectories for visitor movement through the space. These sheets function as both wall and projection screen, reflecting sightlines within and without the museum.
Oppenheimer’s interventions disrupt the experience that we, the visitors, have of the succession of spaces within our built environment. Her work modifies existing architectural elements and alters our perception of the overall building plan. This perceptual instability is further accentuated by the changes in light conditions at different times of day and year. Instead of a linear experience of space and time, Oppenheimer creates a reshuffled experience of the two; instead of visitors and viewers, we become direct participants in a situation.

In recent years Ariel Schlesinger has repeatedly garnered attention thanks to his astonishing works and spatial interventions. He has now installed his largest institutional solo exhibition to date at the Kunsthaus Baselland.

The artist, who was born in 1980 in Jerusalem and currently lives and works in Berlin, has become known for minimal, always extremely precise, interventions into everyday objects which—appearing to have become functionless—demonstrate new possibilities for dealing with those things. Ariel Schlesinger works with objects that he takes from the quotidian, which he alters through sophisticated or sometimes radical interventions, thus transforming them into something that rarely strips them of their form, but does take away their given character—and in return bestows them mystery and fascination.

The artist employs a kind of destructive-constructive strategy in many of his works; he intervenes, changes, transforms the object into something new and enables surprising discoveries for the viewer within something that seemed utterly familiar. Occasionally it seems as if the artist wants to raise that which is gone, broken or dead to new life, to rescue it from disappearing and to revitalise lost certainties through his precise interventions.

There are numerous works that one encounters as if with a slight shock of recognition, as they draw in the viewer’s full attention. Sometimes the new objects that emerge from this seem threatening, or even dangerous in the context in which they are presented. Only little by little, with careful observation, do they become more logical, intelligible and comprehensible. On the condition that one engages with the dense chain of reflexive thought and fantasy that helps one, by simply viewing, to get closer to the bottom of things—and to see more behind everything, to discover more than one had expected before.

A publication on Ariel Schlesinger will appear in June from the Christoph Merian Verlag, edited by Ines Goldbach. It contains texts from fellow artist Jonathan Monk, the art and architecture historian Robert Ginsberg, as well as an in-depth interview with Ariel Schlesinger.

With special thanks to von Bartha (courtesy), Basel, Annely Juda Fine Art, London & P.P.O.W, New York (for Sarah Oppenheimer) and Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv & Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin/Ljubljana (for Ariel Schlesinger)

We warmly thank our partners kulturelles.bl, Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank, Gemeinde Muttenz, werner sutter & co. ag and the supporters Botschaft der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, Novartis (for SarahOppenheimer), Hans und Renée Müller-Meylan Stiftung Dr. Georg und Josi Guggenheim-Stiftung, Alfred und Ilse Stammer-Mayer Stiftung (for Ariel Schlesinger) as well as all the other partners and sponsors of the exhibition.

Kunsthaus Baselland
Share - Sarah Oppenheimer and Ariel Schlesinger
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York