Kunsthalle Bern to open "Back to the Future / George Steinmann, 2003"
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Kunsthalle Bern to open "Back to the Future / George Steinmann, 2003"
Installation view George Steinmann, Lofty Dryness, 2003, Kunsthalle Bern. Photo: Dominique Uldry.

BERN.- Kunsthalle Bern will begin with their new program announced a few weeks ago, entitled Fermenting Kunsthalle. Anticipating the launch of the renovated building in Spring 2025, the museum starts with inaugurating a series of programming titled Back to the Future an exhibition and events series which addresses climate catastrophe through activating the Kunsthalle Bern’s extensive and important archive. The museum is thinking of re-cycling, as a process of remembering, honouring and highlighting. Back to the Future resurfaces questions that were asked in the past but that are still pertinent today and that might hold answers for our future.

The series begins with an exhibition/intervention by acclaimed Swiss artist George Steinmann on June 28, revisiting his exhibition at Kunsthalle Bern in 2003 and his overall collaboration with the institution from the 1980s onwards. His work, Lofty Dryness. A growing Sculpture, timely and urgent, is concerned with the melting of the glaciers, still a burning issue in Switzerland today, and is part of a larger project of previous Kunsthalle Bern’s director Bernhard Fibicher together with Lorette Coen and Carmen Perrin, entitled Schau, wie der Gletscher schwindet (engl. See how the glacier disappears). Steinmann’s overall practice has been a unique, pioneer interdisciplinary approach that is focused on climate consciousness, infused with principles that adhere to symbiotic forms of living, co-existence with non-human life and informed by an impressive study on climate change. The exhibition/intervention, aims to break with conventional ideas of shows and will be an organic installation that the artist will develop continuously, until December 2024.

In July 2024, the museum inaugurates a second series of programming, entitled When Rain Clouds Gather. The film screening program discusses artistic imaginaries for possible futures, addressing social and environmental justice. The series presents an overview of artistic practices that address the different imaginaries and responses that shape how we envision a climatic and more just future. Inspired by the homonymous novel of Bessie Head (a small note of farewell to previous director Kabelo Malatsie by highlighting the work of one of South Africa’s most celebrated writers). The novel is a tale of hope amidst despair, inspiring us to think of possible futures with care and determination, against the damning reality of a possible de-futuring caused by climate catastrophe.

The program When Rain Clouds Gather begins with acclaimed philosopher and artist Denise Ferreira da Silva and her collaborative practice with artist Arjuna Neuman. In the past decade, the duo has been working on a film series entitled Elemental Cinema, consisting of four films, that will be screened for a period of one month at the Kunsthalle Bern.

From July 2024 onwards, Swiss artist Olivia Abächerli will be continuing a performative painting practice throughout the Kunsthalle Bern. Abächerli’s work the center and the other (2023), that was part of the Aeschlimann Corti-scholarship exhibition will remain in the Kunsthalle Bern and will organically grow and take over the building both physically but also immaterially through a public program that will be developed in collaboration with the artist.

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