GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS
February 12 to March 22 2008
Fia Backström, Ida Ekblad, Jonathan Horowitz, Scott King, Germaine Kruip, Malcom McLaren,
David Perry, Vi vienne Westwood
Curated by Gianni Jetzer
For Immediate Release
The Swiss Institute is proud to launch its new project space STUDIO 495. It offers the opportunity of a more
spontaneous approach to curating.
The first show, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, brings together an international group of artists.
Selected works are hung in pairs and confront each other in a provocative way. Juxtaposition is rooted in the Art
Historical practice of formal comparison, which Heinrich Wölfflin popularized in his Principles of Art History,
1915. Rather than unveiling a paradigm shift, these contemporary comparisons undermine the reading of
The Image Archive by Germaine Kruip anchors the exhibition. Consisting of a slide show with two carousels, it
demonstrates formally similar yet temporally distinct moments in history. In one pair, a slide of Che Guevara’s
corpse surrounded by Bolivian officers is presented with Rembrandt’s famous painting The Anatomy Lesson of
Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632. Rendering disparate similar, Kruip suggests a tautological repetition of history.
Countering Kruip’s slides, Vivienne Westwood and artist Scott King respectively embellish images of Che
Guevara. Both artworks play with the revolutionary leaders’ silhouette. Westwood adorns a Rembrandt selfportrait
with Guevara’s famous accessories, while King makes a verbal pun by superimposing the beret of Che
onto actress/singer Cher.
On the opposite wall hangs a pair of Jessica Simpsons. These double images function like Warhol’s silkscreen
diptychs: repetition neutralizes the potency of the pop icon. In his frenetic composition, David Perry blends
together the Hollywood pin-up with the famous Iraq POW, Jessica Lynch. Countering this travesty, Ida Ekblad
adorns the same Jessica Simpson with a piece of pink chewing gum. Pasted to Simpson’s eye, it functions both
as an eye patch and an eye-catcher.
Between this sister act, Neon Cross for Two, by Jonathan Horowitz, plays with another icon. Horowitz
serializes the Cross, making it a thing to share. This simultaneously advertises a duality of religions and
questions their authenticity. The buzzing of this neon “sign” reminds viewers that religious iconography is not so
distant from pop.
Looming above the exhibition space, a wall clock by Jens Haaning seems to run ahead of time or to be simply
out of order. As the wall label reveals, the clock runs according to Baghdad Time. Its twin, above the gallery
entrance, is the “World’s End” clock of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. Named for their
revolutionary 80’s shop, the large clock displays 13 hours; the hands travel backwards in time. Both tickers
hang on wallpaper by Fia Backst röm. A text piece by the same artist summarizes the leitmotif of the show,
the confusion of opposites, “Using the left to be right, chic radicality.” In muddling the delineation of styles,
missions and sides, ultimately, good news collides with bad news.
For additional information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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