April 30, 2017 - Swiss Institute - Timothée Calame: Curriculum
April 30, 2017

Swiss Institute

Timothée Calame, Rue de la République, 2017.

Timothée Calame
May 3–June 11, 2017

Opening: May 2, 6–8pm

Swiss In situ
102 Franklin Street
New York, NY 10013

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Swiss Institute is delighted to present Curriculum, the first institutional exhibition of Swiss artist Timothée Calame. Calame’s recent work concentrates on how space is designed and partitioned, using sculptural curtains, platforms, barriers and screens, which are often placed in dialogue with spectral paintings and small sculptures. At Swiss Institute, a newly commissioned body of work explores the effects of failed real estate speculation on public space.

The main element of Curriculum is a labyrinthine architecture constructed inside 102 Franklin Street that occupies and divides the gallery. The walls of the structure are formed using large sheets of printed tarpaulin. Once used to conceal a number of vacant commercial properties, these panels were used to mask the casualties of a failed investment made before the financial crisis of 2008. The interior is printed with artistic impressions of the near and far future—a vision that manages to include alien spacecraft and cupcakes.  

Calame’s labyrinth, seen from above, forms the shape of a paperclip. In order to comprehend the structure, one has to follow the architect’s path, moving through a series of narrow, looping passageways. Parallels between the development of a city and a self are drawn in the center of the sculpture, where a small screening area shows a series of video episodes made in collaboration with Coralie Rouet. In the videos, inspired by the commedia dell’arte character of Pulcinella, Calame roams city streets, telling stories, and acting as a tour guide.  

Populating the gallery, there are also a number of masklike watercolor paintings of real and imagined faces by Calame, which are paired with contributions by artists Hugo Baud and Alan Schmalz. These are accompanied by the latest of Calame’s motorized sculptures, an authoritative figure who surveys the space, wildly jerking its head—conveying a looming sense of political horror.

Timothée Calame (b. 1991, Geneva) lives and works in Marseille, France. Recent exhibitions include Spring at Weiss/Falk, Basel, Galerie Putsch (two-person exhibition with Emanuel Rossetti) at Marbriers 4, Geneva and Publique at Édouard Montassut, Paris. He has been included in several group exhibitions including at Gaudel de Stampa, Paris, Der Tank, Basel and UP STATE, Zurich.

Swiss Institute has temporarily relocated to a 5,000 sq ft project space at 102 Franklin Street in Tribeca, where we are presenting programming under the name Swiss In situ. Prior to moving to our new building at 38 St. Marks Place, exhibitions and public programs are focused on temporary structures—including publishing formats, social experiments and architectural forms—set against the fast-mutating landscape of downtown Manhattan. Expanding upon the success of Swiss Institute’s ONE FOR ALL series, which offered emerging artists a first institutional exhibition in the US, Swiss In situ presents new systems of research and production to New York audiences.

Swiss Institute programming is made possible in part with public funds from Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Main sponsors include LUMA Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Friends of SI. Swiss Institute gratefully acknowledges its Leading Partner UBS, Stella Artois as Benefactor, Swiss Re as Public Programs Presenting Sponsor, Vitra as Design Partner, SWISS as Travel Partner and UOVO Fine Art as Relocation Partner. Special thanks to Oskar Weiss.

Media contact: Mojdeh Pishyar
mojdeh [​at​] swissinstitute.net / T +1 212 925 2035

Swiss Institute
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