RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co) – we save what you give

RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co) – we save what you give

Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg

September 18, 2006

RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co)
we save what you give,

ed. by Irene Müller, Ilka and Andreas
Ruby, Emanuel Tschumi, Susann
Wintsch, Zurich / Nuremberg,

a project of edition fink in
Verlag für moderne Kunst
Nürnberg, 2006,

The collaboration between Marie-Antoinette Chiarenza (*1957, Tunisia) and Daniel Hauser (*1959, Bern) began in the 1980s in Paris at the squatter-occupied Giraud-Phares factory. Since the beginning of the 1990s they increasingly worked on projects in public space, respectively art-on-architecture projects. During their 1997-2001 collaboration with the city-and-landscape planner Daniel Croptier (*1949, Biel-Bienne), they changed their name to RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & croptier) Since 2003 the artists have lived and worked in Zurich; their works and projects trade under the name RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co), whereby the co stands for partners who change according to the project.

In its works, RELAX occupies an artistic position that since the 1980s has sought out in-between spaces, infiltrated them, posed irksome questions as to economic connections and their cultural impact and examined social links and patterns. The research the artists instigated, their coming-to-grips with societal, political and social questions, their stand vis-à-vis the art system per se and the prevailing theoretical discourses are all transformed into photography, installations, drawings, video works and performances. RELAX consciously uses poor materials and industrial semi-products to direct our gaze to the spatial and site-specific contexts, i.e., the works statement. This position becomes, so to speak, paradigmatic for the artists way of working; it leads to works and projects in which the thematic level and situation-related aspects are always given precedence over purely aesthetic approaches and art-immanent queries. It is the site as the place of concrete realization, but above all also as the mental category, the mirror of a social (activity) space, the territory for different interactions and interventions that, in the 1990s, became a central aspect of RELAXs art.

The present publication is quite explicitly neither an artists book nor an exhibition catalogue, but a kind of standard work. After in-depth analysis of the works and lengthy conversations between the artists and the editors, a concept emerged that, on the one hand, corresponds with a claim of scholarliness and an overview but, on the other, gives the artists way-of-working its due. Texts and photos, as well as the filmed audio-visual sequences on the DVD, compile and examine the artists works. Over 500 illustrations allow an in-depth look into a rigorous artistic production; two hours of video material offer a comprehensive survey of the artists numerous video works. The volume of texts is comprised of four essays, in which scholars and curators follow the media-specific character of the works, as well as survey and reflect on RELAXs artistic position and works against the background of theoretical models. In addition this volume contains an oeuvre catalogue of the works, which includes a differentiated list of materials, as well as a deeper commented look into select pieces. Its fundamental essays, the oeuvre catalogue and the carefully selected picture material and not least of all its conceptual stringency makes this publication the definitive work on RELAX.

Book launch: 15 September 2006, 5 to 10 pm at Condor Films, Studio Bellerive, Kreuzstrasse 2, 8034 Zurich

Irene Müller, Ilka and Andreas Ruby, Emanuel Tschumi, Susann Wintsch (Eds.) RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co) we save what you give
Text contributions by Irene Müller, Ilka and Andreas Ruby, Katharina Schlieben and Sønke Gau, Philip Ursprung, Susann Wintsch (German, French, English)

192 and 261 pages, approx. 550 color reproductions, 29.7 x 21 cm, hardcover (2 volumes), integrated DVD, Zurich / Nuremberg, a project of edition fink in Verlag für Moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2006

Press contact: Irene Jost/Culture_Art_Communications, Projektteam RELAX Monografie, Lindenstrasse 35, CH-8008 Zürich, Tel. 41 (0)79 456 96 55,

Downloads of press images and text: (press)

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September 18, 2006

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