Click on the posters to navigate through the exhibition photos.
20.10-03.11.2022 Muta
Viola Poli (solo show)

In her work, Viola Poli often invades and appropriates spaces. Each of her total installations, realized in situ, is accompanied by a short poem describing sensations and memories. Some of her gestures or choices are meticulous, others intuitive. Her interventions, subtle and organic, leave no detail untouched and yet give to chance a great part of expression in the process of realization. The work of the material is always primordial, because it has its own life, a free will that the artist cannot and does not want to control in its entirety. 

The artist from Ticino has been developing a coherent and continuous practice for several years, made of handmade pieces with traditional techniques of sculpture, in metal welding, in modeling, in clay and in wood. These pieces rub shoulders with others, more experimental, mixing all kinds of natural materials found and recycled in strange and unique forms, like a dish made of food unknown even to the person who cooked it. 

In this intervention located just a stone's throw from the emerald river, the influence of the host site is considerable. It determines the tone, the hue, the shapes and the deceptive textures. The river, like the architecture of the building at the end of its life, is seen as a place of incessant rejuvenation and as a source of inexhaustible inspiration. Viola Poli, following her own determination to lose control, leaves nothing unfinished here, controlling even the atmosphere of the room, immersing the viewers in an ecosystem comprised of heterogeneous elements and hybrid entities.

A food composed of dark and matt ceramics crushed until exhaustion, of rivers of dried algae with turquoise reflections spotted with mosses and purple lichens, reminiscent of the dress of trout or catfish, of pieces of ivory white shells gleaned on pebble beaches, of grey and reddish iron rods, of intimate poems engraved on metal plates whose rust becomes ornament, of vaporous lights and windows blurred by grease. All these manufactured pieces serve to shape this interconnected and living whole, a stunning trompe-l'oeil, suspended from floor to ceiling, on a bed of black soot powder.

Muta is a stage that signals a turning point, it is the shedding of an animal changing its skin, an intermediate state before a potential renewal, a metamorphosis of the space, as it is of the artist holds its stewardship. Muta also means the incapacity to express words. Perhaps it should therefore be considered as an attempt to decentralize being an artist or being a human. Muta, as an autonomous organism. Weeds resisting in the urban space defined and dominated by humanity and by its time. 

07-21.04.2022 Encore heureux
Victor Delétraz + Annabelle Galland

«One painting per person» could have been the title of this exhibition. Metaphorical and elaborate, no. Factual and pragmatic, yes.

In the rectangular room is placed an almost square structure, in which two presentation boxes are partly attributed by the artists to themselves. Courtyard and garden side, Galland and Delétraz side, bedroom and bathroom side. The public is free to choose which one belongs to whom and where is what. Because if in the proposal, certain plastic decisions seem clear, the proposal seems even more enigmatic. Satire and cynicism, perhaps. Humor and point of view, certainly.

With a generosity in terms of number of works, as well as commitment before the exhibition, the two artists apply in this case, and to the letter, the first sentence of the motto of the space that welcomes them: give free rein to experimentation, the attempt, the idea. They explore various surfaces that are not only used for painting, transpose the practice of sculpture to that of assemblage, break the usual hierarchy between the works, proceed as much by adding delicate details as by subtracting disruptive elements, play with the function and status of the frame in all senses, as with the framework of the display of their pieces in itself. In other words, to be serious without taking themselves seriously.

The numerous individual pieces, some never before seen, some recovered, almost all from recycled materials, become ephemeral installations and unique communal works. Together, they form an ensemble that sparsely covers the surface of the floor, the framing and the artificial space thus created. Through the choice of the raw materials used, the tiles made of soap, the functional but non-ornamental lamps, the old or strange lampshades, the retouched but non-dissimulating curtain, the repainted fountain from which does not spout water but a bouquet of flowers, the ceramics polished without being precious, wooden structure lacquered but unstable, oil on canvas with holes, stickers scattered and taunting the spectators, even in the superstitious pose of a harmless object at the back of a structure. Annabelle Galland and Victor Delétraz play with certain codes and assume the paradoxes of their proposal. This here becomes the backside of a decor where there is nothing to see, or almost. Contradiction and failure, not at all. Insight and performative potential, absolutely.

«Two Breasts and a Tie» could have been another exhibition title, or perhaps the pair performance taking place in the space, activating the various elements of the installation, as a critique of the circuit in which they have chosen to evolve. Rumor has it that artists must finance their production, pay for their life choices rather than themselves. Proof of this is the long list of thanks they wanted to share with the audience, in which including an editor is as important as including a banquet hostess. Perhaps the two sidekicks work in the same theater café, exchanging far more orders than dialogue lines there. Perfect working and playing partners, in short.

From the beginning, this exhibition has been a sham. An extreme collaboration, on the verge of losing balance but in total control. One would even have heard them say «we must not miss». Still happy (Encore heureux).

Poster ©Agathe de Limoges
Photos ©YAL

24.03.2022 [CLICK BAIT TITLE] (performance)
Finsterbusch Collective

[CLICK BAIT TITLE] is an event at the intersection of performance, installation, celebration and dance.

Is there a place for us to meet, just the way we are today: humans made from flesh and blood, with overloaded dopamine receptors, shortened attention spans, "socially distanced" and at the same time part of a connected global community?

Glass surfaces, greasy smudges from swiping, typing and zooming, ring lights reflected in HD pupils, the clack of acrylic nails on a retina display. Beyond the touchscreen: a craned neck, blue light on your face, noise-canceling headphones covering your ears. They're playing "Nothing Compares 2U" by Sinead O'Connor.

Welcome to a dance between the analog and the virtual world. We are moving where otherwise only the glass of the cell phone screen can be found.

Finsterbusch Collective is comprised of Umlilo (she/they), Marketa Pscolkova (she/her), Philip Neuberger (all pronouns), Amelie Von Godin (she/her), Fabio Cores (he/him), Juno Peng (they/them).

Poster ©Finsterbusch Collective
Photos ©Zoé Aubry

17.2-3.3.2022 I want you so bad (group show)
Miriam Beichert, Yann Stéphane Bisso, Simon Boixader, Karine Deluz, Anna Diehl, Abigail Janjic, Damien Juillard, Aramis Navarro, Claire Megumi Masset, Elias Njima, Gabriel Nunige, Noemi Pfister, Arnaud Sancosme, Sarah Valérie Steiner, Ismael Taha, Jeanne Tara, Niels Trannois, Elektra Tzamouranis, Caroline Ventura, Shannon Zwicker

Vingt artistes de trois régions linguistiques différentes répondant à : 

1. I want you so bad, soit une attirance forte pour quelqu’un-x-e ou quelque-chose. Dans le cas précis, celle éprouvée pour le travail des artistes invité-x-e-s. 

2. bad, invitant l’artiste à proposer une pièce détonnant du reste de sa production, mal réalisée, incohérente, se jouant des notions de subjectivité et de pertinence. 

3. I want you, la pièce étant visuellement ou techniquement liée à celle d’un-x-e autre artiste, en dialogue, confrontation ou echo. 

Il aura fallu attendre dix minutes pour la première réponse à cette invitation et deux mois pour la dernière.

Ismael explore le corps humain et ses divers états, un focus sur la fécondité, et fait fumer un tête humaine dont il ne subsiste qu’une paire d’yeux, en dizaines de morceaux colorés vifs.

Sarah prend une pose pour la photo, puis pour sa toile untitled, dans un espace domestique flou, sans vraiment de repère de temps, de météo, ni d’état d’âme.

Elektra, peut être lassée des gens, envoie sa pièce presque comme un coup de pied du nord-est de l’Allemagne, avec une image de sa baignoire, désormais objet ou activité principal(e) de sa journée de Sunday.

Elias, non sans dextérité, propose un portrait (personnellement fignolé et encadré à la main) de Marlène Charpentié prenant une pose plutôt sérieuse pour une clown.

Miriam confie à l’espace un pot de Sauerkraut, peint, taché, sprayé, recouvert, puis peint à nouveau, comme une nature morte translucide et arrogante, parce que la choucroute peut aussi devenir un sujet.

Caroline s’amuse dans les chambres qu’elle occupe, comme en adolescence, multipliant les collages d’éléments no paper et de qualité douteuse dans un diptyque, faisant au passage un petit doigt au marché.

Damien écrit des JJ sur un visage et son smartphone, imprime la composition sur du textile, la fige derrière un Plexiglas taché et y ajoute quelques autocollants dépareillés, parce qu’il n’y a peut être jamais assez de couches sur une pièce. 

Abigail recouvre sa pièce de multiple fluides comme sortis d’un jerricane de produits chimiques, gardant la devise respice finem en tête, apportant les dernières touches fonctionnelles jusque dans l’espace.

Noemi dépeint avec ironie et sarcasme une scène de fable potentielle entre un scarabée et la mort, cette dernière expliquant à l’insecte le fin mot de l’histoire : everyone needs a friend.

Yann emporte ses personnages fantomatiques dans une brume dansante et ronde, sûrement une émanation mentale carrée sortie d’un de ses rêves étranges.

Gabriel pose une de ses nombreuses figures d’inspiration dans un brouillard psychédélique et acidulé au point de faire tourner la tête à un-x-e fêtard-x-e rentrant de soirée, fumb as duck.

Shannon dépose des gouttes pigmentées dans la profondeur des fibres du papier, se mélangeant comme les salives de deux tickling tongues, esquissant même la forme du serpent de l’affiche d’exposition.

Anna poursuit son exploration dans un monde monochrome énigmatique, avec un plan serré et komisch blau sur une torsion de chairs aussi tendues sur le lin qu’entre elles.

Simon façonne par deux côtés, assemblant sans hiérarchie, morceaux de drap, bribes de texte, corde, bouts de dessins, vieux bois, un certain cran et de l’audace, présentant finalement le côté face.

Aramis jongle avec un citron et un melon, joue avec son palindrome n°2 d’une série qui en comporte sans doute plus, comme avec la personne qui se trouve en face.

Niels, éreinté par son voyage mais fasciné par la sculpture décapitée de Mélos A qu’il découvre au bout, pousse son processus quasi obsessionnel jusque sur une fine couche de porcelaine cramoisie.

Karine répond modestement sur la taille, généreusement sur le nombre et gracieusement sur la forme, avec un quadriptyque apparement peint in ihrem Bett et sur du bois récupéré.

Arnaud, l’humour subtil et appliqué, effectue un triple saut en une seule peinture (D’après une peinture de Diane Rivoire, d’après le graphisme de Louise Bailat), en décrétant en plein vol : maintenant on passe aux choses sérieuses.

Jeanne projette des ombres discrètes sur le mur gris avec deux éléments de son mobile triptyque, le troisième venant se poser en tant que seule pièce tridimensionnelle dans l’espace, comme sur la place publique. 

Claire transporte sa pièce en diagonale à travers le pays, partage son quotidien avec elle, lui confie un peu de ses pensées comme de sa personne, lui/la laisse tears sweat or wet, à l’image des efforts fournis pour cette exposition tant fantasmée.

I want You so, so, so bad.

Affiche ©Sirkka Ammann
Sérigraphie ©Sabrina Peerally, Atelier Madame
Lumières ©Hybrid Concept
Photos ©YAL

18.11-02.12.2021 Tout ce qui couvrait une vie humaine déjà scintillait 
Dorine Aguerre + Rémi Dufay (duo show)

Les deux artistes ne se connaissent pas, mais partagent des ateliers dans le même bâtiment depuis quatre ans. Bien que la forme de leur production individuelle soit très différente, leur approche de la scénographie, de la situation et de la vidéo est extrêmement semblable. Assez pour suffire de prétexte à cette quatrième invitation sous forme de carte blanche.

On pourrait résumer le processus de leur collaboration en trois étapes, en immersion dans et autour de l’espace : observer, intervenir et restituer.

Observer inlassablement à travers les fenêtres orientées Nord du bâtiment des Saules, la quasi immobilité du paysage pendant de longues heures. Une occupation de l’espace vide de la part des deux intervenant-e-s, scrutant de jour comme de nuit, les évènements s’y produisant.

Intervenir ensuite, non pas dans l’espace mais dans ce même paysage, entre les deux rives du Rhône. Caméra à l’épaule, aidé-e-s par un cadreur complice, mais aussi filmées sur trépied depuis les fenêtres de l’espace, iels captent les subtiles changements de l’environnement créés par des actions performatives, l’installation et l’activation de quelques éléments souvent lumineux. Visibles dans les vidéos, mais aussi à travers les fenêtres lors de l’exposition, ces interventions deviennent ensuite pérennes, traces des artistes dans l’espace public.

Restituer enfin, dans un travail totalement in situ et à la limite de l’obsession, une version réduite de l’espace d’exposition à un dixième de sa taille originale. Soit une maquette imaginée par les artistes en collaboration avec deux architectes. Sa fonction première est repensée par les artistes en la réalisant directement dans l’exposition. Iels l’abolissent en lui ôtant l’objectif utilitaire de projection future ou de reconstitution passée d’un espace.

Plutôt qu’une boucle d’installation vidéo traditionnelle, les vidéos reflètent ici les cinq heures de tournage en plans séquences et sont montrées synchronisées avec le temps réel lors de l’exposition (de 17:00 à 22:00). Tournées avec une planification préalable moindre, sans postes de tournage précis, elles deviennent des captations spontanées, témoins d’un passage humain. On y perçoit des sons ambiants provenant de sources invisibles, d’actions plus ou moins perceptibles, les auteur-e-s oubliant même que les caméras tournent.

Le résultat n’est pas une maquette d’une structure caduque, un making-off original, une simulation hypothétique, une simple illusion d’optique ou un trompe-l’œil à destination des spectateur-x-ice-s. C’est l’illustration de la technicité d’une pratique vidéo, où chaque scintillement provient d’une activité humaine, d’une caméra ou d’un écran. Une contemplation mélancolique face à la destruction prévue d’un bâtiment.

Avec la collaboration de Maud Abbé-Decarroux, Elijah Graf-Quartier, Aloys Mützenberg.
Une coproduction Hichmoul Pilon Production.

Affiche et sérigraphie ©Thomas Perrodin
Photos ©YAL

16-30.09.2021 Warm tales for a dead fire 
Collective Disgrace (solo show)

For its third carte blanche exhibition, Soul2Soul invites Collective Disgrace to occupy the exhibition space for a fortnight. 
In this case, the word ‘occupy’ turns into ‘fill’, because when this group of young artists comes together for a project, nothing is left to chance and everything is done consistently. Once again, the proposal is total, from the straw that completely covers the surface of the floor, to the theatre lamps hanging from the ceiling, to the discreet rustling of small objects placed at different heights and in the corners of the space. The investment of the place is also perceptible through the care given to the different parts of the installation, every element of the scenography being thought out, moulded, twisted, sculpted, baked, melted, dried, grated, brushed, engraved, smoothed, varnished, painted, transported, placed and lit by its authors.

If it had been real, that is to say existing outside of this space, this place would have the smell of an escape, of a scene left a few moments before and in a hurry. Although the objects appear to be worn and aged, seemingly abandoned for a long time, the surges of the ambient air comfort us in the idea that an event has just occurred there. What remains for us to do, upon discovering this moment still charged with an unknown presence, is to peer at the surroundings for traces of the last visitors, to assume the reasons for their sudden disappearance and, perhaps, to go after them.

Except that here, within the walls of the exhibition, almost everything has been manufactured, reproduced or imitated. The scene and the traces that have been left behind are so many deceptive clues, placed there as a sort of memorial, referring to abandoned objects without any particular character. In a full and voluntary illusion, they have, so to speak, no precise purpose, perhaps even no other intention, than that of having one day supposedly accompanied the disappeared, for a moment gathered around the fire.

Visual ©David Bonaglia
Photos ©YAL

30.10-05.11.2020 Pourquoi les boîtes de pizza sont-elles carrées ? 
(Why do pizza boxes have a square shape?)
Yvan Alvarez + Paul Hützli (duo show)

Yvan Alvarez, through photography, installation and sculpture, creates surprising confrontations, often using everyday objects that conceal a story. His works contain a subtle contradiction that does not give itself away, giving them a strange aura.

Paul Hützli also draws inspiration from everyday life. He uses different mediums like painting, drawing, sculpture and installation and combines them through various crafts and practices, such as “trompe-l’oeil“, carnival or stained glass.

The two artists have a common interest in what is to be perceived as normal, established, in order to question the way in which this norm is established.
They talk about everyday life, not excluding humorous or intimate subjects.
In this respect, this proposal resembles more a studio party than an exhibition.
Do not sit on the chairs, they are made of paper-mâché.

Visual ©Paul Hützli
Photos ©YAL

23-30.01.2020 Sealed for your protection
Julie Sando + Vanessa Urben (duo show)

SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION is the phrase taken from a protective washer on a food jar (hermetically sealed before opening the package). In this context, the artists found this sentence both comical and absurd. While the washer is only a protection of poor quality food ensuring the hygiene of the industrial product, the sentence seems excessive and seems to refer more to an authority, or even an emergency.
The artists have decided to take up the sentence and reinterpret it in a broader way around the theme of "protection", and more precisely the use of this term by the power/authorities.
In this context, the notions of soft power and hard power challenge them. They approach them in a metaphorical way, while questioning their sometimes absurd - or even abusive - uses (manipulations, media, politician's speeches, police violence, etc.) through an installation thought out in pairs, mixing texts, drawings, objects, textures and videos.

Visual ©Julie Sando + Vanessa Urben