BERN.- In the exhibition The Unanswered Question, Megan Francis Sullivan shows new and older works in a specific setting that refers to structures both inside and outside the Kunsthalle. Aspects of the existing architecture are set in relation to works or objects that themselves possess architectural functions. The exchange between forms and functions, inside and outside, materiality and symbolism, thus becomes the actual starting point. Within the exhibition space, the artist shuffles seemingly disparate references from areas of art history, design, pop culture and sport. The process of combining found or bought objects, works made by order, or those created by the artist in the studio emphasizes frameworks that not only make artistic objects visible, but assign them certain meanings or values. Sullivans works are formed through techniques like adaptation or inversion that serve to infiltrate the original with subjective, sometimes queer or melancholy perspectives.
The title of the exhibition, The Unanswered Question, refers to the music piece written by the American composer Charles Ives (1874-1954), also born in Connecticut. His work is often called quirky, though he is celebrated as a modern composer who juxtaposed different conventional styles within single compositions. About this piece, Leonard Bernstein quotes Ives as saying that while the trumpet intones the perennial question of existence, the flutes seem to realize the futility and begin to mock the question. With different voices, Sullivan traces iridescent systems of reference in which innuendo, anecdote or analysis all take turns.
Works by Megan Francis Sullivan (born 1975 in Stamford, CT, USA, lives in Berlin) have recently been presented at Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp (2015), Mathew Gallery, New York (2015), Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2014), Mathew Gallery, Berlin (2014), VI, VII, Oslo (2014), FreymondGuth Fine Arts, Zurich (2013), Castillo/Corrales, Paris (2013), Halle für Kunst, Lüneburg (2013). Her artist books and publications include: A Catalogue Raisonné, Antwerp: Objectif Exhibitions, 2016; Zipper Keeper 2015, Minneapolis: Midway Contemporary Art, 2014; Die Hunterklasse, Maastricht: FNVerlag / Jan van Eyck Academie, 2008; HBL Hedgebrook Lane, Frankfurt am Main: Revolver Verlag, 2004.