Reto Pulfer – Die Vertretung des Erschöpften

September 17 – November 5, 2011
Istituto Svizzero di Roma Milan branch Via Vecchio Politecnico 3 I – Milan

Following a year-long residency at the Istituto Svizzero di Roma that has just come to an end, Reto Pulfer presents a new installation for the Milan branch of the ISR. Pulfer’s work is a container of various practices and disciplines that also includes music performances in which the audience participation plays a fundamental role. Before taking on a specific form, his installations originate from stories that have been invented, similar to mnemonics, where the characters’ roles are defined by the language or by simple image associations and can from time to time assume different forms.

The title of the exhibition “Die Vertretung des Erschöpften”, curated by Salvatore Lacagnina, can be translated as “Representation of Exhaustion”. As the German word is often used to indicate an official representation (such as an Embassy for example), the direct reference to the nature of the Istituto Svizzero as a place of representation of the Swiss culture in Italy in this instance is clear. In a broader sense, though, the term here suggests the manifestation and the representation of a symptom, “Erschöpften” that is breakdown due to exhaustion. The process of artistic production leads to a total impoverishment of ideas, to a state of psycho-physical exhaustion. This state of great exhaustion paradoxically coincides with a state of great artistic inspiration. One single abstract term is what links three elements at the same time: the exhibition, the work and the institution.

Once again Pulfer uses the multiple shades of language, enriching his personal glossary, a linguistic code that also becomes the key to interpreting his works.

The exhibition space of the Istituto Svizzero in Milan plays host to a large tent, made from silk remnants that are stuck to the ceiling and the walls taking on new forms, also thanks to the use of zips sewn to the fabric. The installation further includes a series of small format sculptures: they follow and originate from the artistic process and represent in their turn the source of a state of deterioration and the exhaustion of the work.

For START Milano the exhibition will be opened on Saturday September 17 from 11 am to 8 pm and on Sunday September 18 from 2 to 6 pm.