Bertold Stallmach (b. Quthing, Lesotho, 1984) lives and works in Zurich and Berlin.
Over the course of forty days, the artist traveled to meet altogether forty people for in-depth conversations.
The framework was defined by issues that occupied the artist himself or the previous interviewee.
Bertold Stallmach recorded the most important points of each one of these conversations on the six faces of a small wooden cube; the blocks now welcome the visitors in the first room of the exhibition.
The Rat King
In the animated film The Rat King, the opinion-or rather: a sentiment-is actively passed on from person to person. The film is set in four open polystyrene houses in which the seven clay characters act their parts. Its plot was determined by the architecture of the little houses. The rat king embodies the sentiment in the film. The five rats personify man's five enemies: adverse circumstances, bad luck, desperation, powerlessness, and the disrespect of his fellow humans. The rat king clings to the unfortunate man until even greater misfortune befalls another. So the film's characters harm others in order to get rid of the rat king.
An Exquisite Letter to the Pope
Bertold Stallmach wrote a chain letter that posed the following question: "Are there metaphors in the Bible that cannot, or do not need to, be interpreted? And if so, which are they?" Each person who receives the letter passes it on to another person who is closer to the pope than the recipient. This process repeats until the question finally reaches Pope Benedict XVI. The participants may alter the question or exchange a new one for it if the original question has been answered. The chain letter has embarked on its journey.
Movable walls divide the exhibition room into the three stations of the project The Travels of an Opinion.
Set into these walls are windows that are transparent when seen from one side but mirrored from the other side; the visitor who tries to see what is yet to come sees nothing but his own mirror image, but looking back, he can see everything that is behind him.
We look forward to seeing you at the gallery and invite you to join us for the opening on
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 starting at 5pm
Education: Bertold Stallmach studied visual arts at the Zurich University of the Arts from 2004 to 2008.
In 2007, he attended Future University, Hakodate, Japan; in 2003, he took the preparatory class at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Zurich.
Awards and fellowships: 2010: project fellowship, Canton of Zurich; project fellowship, Ernst Goehner Foundation; 2008: Migros Culture Percentage; fellowship, IKEA Foundation; fellowship, Swiss Study Foundation; young artist's award, Zurich University of the Arts; 2007: fellowship, Swiss Study Foundation