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Artstübli Galerie, Steinentorberg 28, Basel,


Anger. Empathy. Hope. Your statement about freedom becomes part of an installation. With the title MY GUERNICA, MARTIN KAMMLER’s European tour starts from September 3rd to 6th in the Basel gallery Artstübli, Steinentorberg 28. A roomfilling installation merges art and commitment, statements and actions. As an exhibition and project space for urban art and culture in all its contemporary facets, Artstübli exhibits further works of this art movement. Martin Kammler and Artstübli support the “Children in Brazil” foundation. The visitors are invited to give their statement to the installation. Artist aperitifs from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Words from Nicole Löser Nicole Löser is a curator and art manager with over 15 years of experience working with institutions and companies across Europe. She curated more than 250 exhibition projects, most recently on the subjects of art and money, art and neurosciences, art and politics, and art and culture of remembrance. My Guernica – eine prozesshafte, interaktive Installation von Martin Kammler

A canvas with a dynamic, contours-like style appears in contrasting colors on a white background. The Installation stretches almost 5 meters on a wooden slat stand and is held in a metal base. Across the entire width of the image figurative and geometric elements in deep black color switch with gesturally abstract brushstrokes.

At the top and bottom of the picture, rhythmically arranged, stamp-like, blood-red and storm-cloud-blue tulips are shown. In the interstices, red handprints can be seen, accentuated by dripping-like shapes in lemon yellow. Scribbled words and short sentences in German and English as well as incised characters emerge from the background. They offer the viewer an additional communication system for decoding. Following the tradition of Abstract Expressionism, the painting exudes an energy that references to the process of action painting. Objective citations can be recognized.

The mixture of figurative and abstract painting visually synthesizes disparate picture elements. In addition, the two-dimensional painting is supplemented by three-dimensional extensions such as shiny Christmas balls, on which QR codes are attached, a pair of worn-out artist shoes, demonstration banners, a small roll of barbed wire and a cloth doll’s mobile. Martin Kammler uses the artistic approach to show his own story on the one hand and to reflect moments of historical importance on the other.

He is interested in weaving, deconstructing and expanding this knowledge. For example, the barbed wire indicates a restricted freedom and the mobile can be seen as a symbol for renewal. The work is also edited on the back. There is an object in the form of an old door lock that can act as a metaphor for being open to new ways and changing things. Martin Kammler started working on the canvas at the end of 2019.

In 2020, during the worldwide lockdown due to the corona pandemic, he first transformed the painting into a wall installation and finally in May 2020 into an object that serves as a stage element for various productions and actions. By borrowing the title, the artist linked it to Pablo Picasso’s work “Guernica”, which was painted in 1937 in response to the destruction of the Spanish city of the same name by a GermanItalian air raid. It is one of Picasso’s best-known paintings and has been symbolically an anti-war memorial since its presentation at the Paris World Exhibition in 1937.

Taking up this intention, Martin Kammler reactivates this idea and would like to invite 55 artists to actively participate in his work and thus increase the radiance as a memorial and symbol for hope. For this he has considered the back and lets people express their ideas. In the past weeks, 3 musicians, 1 break dancer, 2 writers, 3 artists, 1 actors, 1 dancer, 1 photographer have associated with Martin Kammler’s work and supplemented it with their artistic contributions, which can be identified as QR codes.

“Building on this legacy, ALL people should present ideas for renewing hope together,” says Martin Kammler.


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