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Klontal Triennale 2014

Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus

A place like this. The Triennale features twenty-three international positions at selected locations in Klontal Valley and at Kunsthaus Glarus. A majority of the new works created specifically for this location directly reference Klontal Valley's rich artistic tradition. The contemporary artists have been invited to address the location and its heritage, the landscape and nature, activating these concerns from a present-day perspective and questioning their historical topoi.

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Klöntal Valley—located above Glarus—has been a recurrent focus of art since the mid- seventeenth century: far removed from mass tourism, the valley and its pristine landscape nurture visions of an ideal utopia even today. It has always been a fascination of artists. A PLACE LIKE THIS takes up this theme, presenting twenty-three international positions at selected locations in Klöntal Valley and at Kunsthaus Glarus. A majority of the new works created specifically for this location directly reference Klöntal Valley’s rich artistic tradition. The contemporary artists have been invited to address the location and its heritage, the landscape and nature, activating these concerns from a present-day perspective and questioning their historical topoi.

In so doing they have much to draw from: the Zurich-based painter Conrad Meyer and his Dutch colleague Jan Hackaert documented the valley, the mountains, and the lake as early as 1655, and, in the eighteenth century, Klöntal Valley’s seclusion made it a well-kept secret. It was also a stop for English painters on their grand tours through the Swiss Alps, and by the time European landscape painting and the Swiss Alp-theme came to full fruition in the mid-nineteenth century, Klöntal Valley had become a popular meeting place for artists and those connected to nature including Rudolf Koller or Johann Gottfried Steffan, who formed an artists’ colony in a picturesque maple grove in Richisau in 1856. While in Klöntal Valley in 1881, Gottfried Keller mused about “the true, ideal, real landscape or the real, ideal landscape”—real locations and ideal utopias were already in competition even then.

To date this idea has never faltered. Klöntal Valley has retained a slice of utopia, and has remained a place of retreat and concentration, where one can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and dedicate oneself to an alternative way of life in tranquil seclusion and in harmony with nature. In the past twenty years in Klöntal Valley, projects have been realized by Carl Andre, Balthasar Burkhard, Richard Long, Roman Signer, Fischli/Weiss, Christoph Büchel, and many others.

Given this illustrious past, the urge arose to activate the valley with a first-ever curated summertime exhibition in order to bring this fruitful, artistic history up to date. All of the invited artists address in various ways the themes and motifs that formed an artistic tradition in Klöntal Valley over preceding decades and centuries, interleaving these with current perspectives. But it is the engagement with far-flung locations, nature, and thecommunal as alternative or complement to daily urban life—or even to the frenzied art world—that is once again highly relevant today.

This is the starting point for artistic gestures and commentaries, and even today there are multiple attempts—tested out in artists’ colonies of past centuries, for example, in Barbizon, Worpswede, or at Monte Verità—to escape control, constraints, and urban unrest. Thus, in the works represented in the Klöntal Triennale 2014, one also comes across various pieces dealing with themes of withdrawal from society or even the art world, as well as those that take up and advance the concept of artists’ communities. Also, the erstwhile concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (the total work of art) is adapted to the present day: themes like body culture, dance, and clothing are represented here as well as the love of nature, alternative lifestyles, esotericism, and knowledge of herbs.

Works by Hans Alder, Johann Gottfried Steffan, Rudolf Koller, and Otto Meyer-Amden complement the show at Kunsthaus Glarus with prominent historical positions, linking it to the artistic tradition of Klöntal Valley as well as nearby Amden.

In-depth presentation of selected artistic positions at the Klöntal Triennale 2014:

KAI ALTHOFF’s (*1966 in Cologne, lives in New York) work encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, film, and photography, as well as performance, music, and book design. With a variety of means, he consistently creates spaces of private experience at odds with the classic white cube. His themes are deeply rooted in questions concerning the relationship of the individual to rituals and codes of social life of the past and present. At Kunsthaus Glarus, he presents the approximately twenty-minute film I Will Be Last (2009), which is divided into various movements (chapters) and features the respective protagonists—all in extravagant makeup and wrapped in tight-fitting dance jerseys and colorful cloths performing dance poses in a Gesamtkunstwerk setting. Not infrequently, this recalls the expressive dance of Rudolf Laban or Mary Wigman at Monte Verità as well as contemporary pop or yoga. The conflict, which weighs down on the seemingly familial group, is inscribed in every gesture and sound. Althoff’s works are imbued with a threatening, ambivalent discord between beauty and aggression, destruction and love, community and individuality. They form fantastic, mythological and dreamlike utopian scenarios and raise questions about friendship and sexual relationships, and about involvement in societal structures like religion, political radicalism, the middle-class, or subcultures.

SARAH BURGER (*1982 in Glarus, lives in Zurich), in Partly Rescued, Partly Lost (Kägi fret) (2014), takes a mundane product, a Kägi fret—a traditional Swiss chocolate snack and legendary source of memories—cast in bronze and broken apart into its two parts, out of the tourist context and situates it in the art system. She gives one of the parts over to museum’s safe and orderly care as the now abstract art object, while depositing the other part in nature, sending it on a journey into the unknown—into the complex cave system in the karst area of Silberen Mountain—thereby consigning it to a highly uncertain fate. This separating of what goes together into different spheres is rooted in many mythological narratives, and, in turn, as a gesture, generates in a best-case scenario its own mythology.

STEFAN BURGER (*1977 in Müllheim/Baden/DE, lives in Zurich), with Rückstulpiger Schwindling (2014), nearly pulls off an orderly retreat from art—into Klöntal Valley’s most remote corner. In regular military life, the tactical withdrawal, the orderly disengagement— in contrast to the escape—is considered the most difficult military maneuver. Far removedfrom the art world, Stefan Burger will create a “hysterically microscopic” film during the course of the exhibition. To be produced from weeks of research on Glarus mushrooms species and a discussion with badgers and owls in the forest, the film will be shown toward the end of the Klöntal Triennale. Here, he focuses on the reproductive strategies of mushrooms, meditates on a sexually and asexually motivated dissemination of mushrooms via spores, and also does not ignore the theme of shrinkage (in art). Concurrently, he will develop a sculptural work of micro-particles of mushrooms and spores for the exhibition at Kunsthaus Glarus. Additionally, during Art Basel (June 19-22, 2014), Stefan Burger will organize the “implosive expedition” Ambition-Inhibition-Expedition with a group of art and media bachelor students from the Zurich University of the Arts as a proactive retreat movement that begins in Basel and ends in a hole in the ground in Klöntal Valley.

Several large-format tapestries by the Israeli choreographer and artist NOA ESHKOL (1924-2007, lived in Israel) will be exhibited at Kunsthaus Glarus. In 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, she began creating wall carpets from found and donated fabric remnants parallel to her choreographic work. In Hebrew, the word for carpet also means “story,” and thus the Wall Carpets are narrative, partly biographical processings of daily life, marked by disciplined communal life in a tight-knit community of movement researchers in a house in Holon in Israel. The main focus of the work lies in Eshkol’s austere, minimalist dance compositions that are based on rotations of individual body parts. A groundbreaking notation system forms the basis of her innovations in dance—the “Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation,” the recording of movement in a kind of dance calligraphy—, which she developed and coded together with the architect Avraham Wachman in 1954. Whereas Eshkol’s dance compositions are carefully planned and structured, her textile variations appear spontaneous, colorful, and chaotic. Nevertheless a connection is evident: both elements, dance and textile composition, make visible the fundamental principle of spatial organization. Noa Eshkol works in the tradition of European expressive dance, which has its roots in turn-of-the-century reform movements. She studied from 1946 to 1948 under Rudolf Laban, the founder of a groundbreaking dance school at Monte Verità, which attracted many adherents to the new dance art in the 1920s and which was also influenced by Emile Jacques Dalcroze, Suzanne Perrottet, and Mary Wigman. Likewise, there are numerous links to the American choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham. Today, dance compositions choreographed by Noa Eshkol are performed worldwide by the Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group. On Saturday, June 21, 2014, the company from Holon, Israel will perform at Kunsthaus Glarus.

THOMAS JULIER (*1983 in Brig, lives in Zurich and Brig) takes over the building adjacent to Gasthaus Richisau with his intervention. Here, in each of the six rooms, he installs a text work, A User’s Manual (2014), featuring excerpts from the book Life A User’s Manual by Georges Perec. The author’s narration systematically jumps from apartment to apartment and room to room of a fictional building in Paris, opening up a vast panorama of stories and encounters with people and objects. Analogously, Thomas Julier installs Perec’s short stories in the rooms of Schiltesächsi, the annex building of Gasthaus Richisau featuring a stringently geometrical design, thereby creating a parallel relationship of spatially and temporally staggered episodes between both fictive and real locations in the city and in nature. He invites hotel guests to ruminate on the place, the house, the guests, the objects, and their potential histories and interrelationships.

Featuring works by RUDOLF KOLLER (1828-1905), the Klöntal Triennale takes a look back at the era of artist gatherings, a kind of artists’ colony, which formed in the mid-nineteenth century in the picturesque maple grove in Richisau. Rudolf Koller arrived in 1857 andcreated numerous paintings during this time, including Richisau, Ahornwald am Morgen (1857). Later, other writers, composers, and scientists also joined the artists’ colony, including the composer Richard Wagner, Hermann Goetz, the geologist Albert Heim, or the authors Carl Spitteler and Conrad Ferdinand Meyer. Since the 1830s, it also attracted guests from St. Petersburg and Palermo to idyllic Richisau, which was initially regarded as a simple establishment for whey fasting and later, around 1874, as a well-kept secret for nature lovers seeking an impressive retreat beyond the hustle and bustle of larger resort towns.

FABIAN MARTI (*1979 in Fribourg, lives in Zurich) has repeatedly dealt with the theme of the artist myth, the utopia of an alternative society, and the idea of an artists’ colony. Concurrent with the Klöntal Triennale, he is presenting the work TwoHOTEL in a group exhibition on contemporary Swiss art at the Museum Rietberg in Zurich. The work relates to his artist-hotel in Bahia (Brazil) and also references the work One Hotel by Alighiero and Boetti in Kabul. Expanding on the concept of the artists’ community, he develops an alternative currency. For the Klöntal Triennale, Fabian Marti introduces into the art system an artist coin featuring the impression of his fingerprint, the Marti Coin (2014). This coin reappears in various forms in Klöntal Valley and at Kunsthaus Glarus and finds a variety of applications. For the exhibition opening, the artist will announce the launching of this coin in advance with a poster ad. The coin’s official launch will take place during the exhibition.

CHRISTIAN PHILIPP MÜLLERS (*1957 in Biel, lives in Berlin and New York) performative sculpture, Glarus Scraping Ball (2014), combines botany, geology, traditional myths, an old recipe for a Glarus tea, and locally-rooted art history. On walks, for example with botanical experts, visitors are transformed into actors: somewhere along the way between Bödmerenwald and Kunsthaus Glarus, they come across a permeable metal mesh ball and are invited to start it rolling with a little push, moving it on their way through a stretch of landscape marked with signs. Thus, in the search for ingredients to a Glarus tea recipe from the eighteenth century, it rolls through many layers of civilization, witnessing numerous things along the way: flowers, earth, stones, and roots. Christian Philipp Müller is also producing a talisman, Vreneli’s Talisman (2014), which is filled with the dried root of the Devil’s bit - one of the ingredients of the tea recipe - and also references the legend of Vrenelisgärtli in the Glärnisch mountains in which a headstrong young woman seeks to start a garden in an almost impossible to reach spot, losing her life in the process. Both curators will wear this trinket during the Klöntal Triennale in a kind of performative action, thereby communicating to the world the protective effect, according to tradition, of the Glarus root. Guided tours are offered on the following dates: Art Weekend from September 13-14 with Steve Nann and Peter Zimmermann, experts on Glarus’ botany.

DAVID RENGGLI (*1974 in Zurich, lives in Zurich) presents stone sculptures at Kunsthaus Glarus and in Klöntal Valley, so-called Daybeds (2013-14), benches for sitting and lying down, arranged on top with river stones and inlaid coins. As seating benches, they offer a contemplative view of the landscape and the nature of Klöntal Valley, but they also simultaneously recall Freud’s therapeutic coach. Placed not on a Persian carpet but on concrete and stone, the artist, with this tongue-in-cheek gesture, calls on those relaxing to examine their attitudes toward the outside world as well as to themselves. One bench is located at Richisauer Schwammhöhe with a breathtaking view of Klöntalersee, the other is at Kunsthaus Glarus.

ADELE RÖDER (*1980, lives and works in New York and London) is spending a longer period of time in Glarus during the Klöntal Triennale while researching local textile archives and implementing a screen-printed fabric design in cooperation with one of the last textile firms in Glarus. Employing an expanded painterly praxis with digital image processing programs, she creates with this fabric an abstract, subjective interpretation of the Glarus landscape. Ultimately, a garment designed by the artist will be produced from the fabric. Röder uses fabric as an ambivalent, transformative material, between form and non-form, which is both projection screen and symbol. It also serves as an interface between man and the world, as well as housing and decoration. At Kunsthaus Glarus she presents a medium- format slide projection with images of already existing garments. Using her own catalog of artist-designed patterns and fabrics, the artist individually tailored these garments for specific people who now also own the clothes and whose body sizes are incorporated into the presentation of the work.

Another historically important position is presented with JOHANN GOTTFRIED STEFFAN (1815-1905, lived in Wädenswil and Munich). Steffan inspired his Swiss and German artist colleagues to spend communal time together in Klöntal Valley. From 1856 onward, the artists met up at the artists’ colony located in the picturesque maple grove in Richisau in order to devote themselves to realistic nature studies executed in friendly rivalry. Several of the artists’ works are part of the Glarner Kunstverein collection, for instance Sommertag am Klöntalersee (1892) or Am Klöntalersee (Weg nach Ruoggis und Hebrig, 1881).

Works by the following artists are also featured at the 2014 Klöntal Triennale. Detailed descriptions of these works are available upon request. Please contact or call +41 (0) 55 640 25 35.

HANS ALDER (1883-1971, lived in Filzbach/GL), at Kunsthaus Glarus
SHANNON BOOL (*1972 in Canada, lives in Berlin), at Kunsthaus Glarus and Gasthaus Richisau
HONEY-SUCKLE COMPANY (artist collective, founded in 1995 in Berlin, consisting of Simone Gilges, Zille Homa Hamid, Nico Ihlein, P.S. Kisur, Nina Rhode, Konrad Sprenger, and others), at Kunsthaus Glarus
KARIEL (Muriel & Karri Kuoppala, *1981 in Zurich/*1976 in Helsinki, live in Glarus), in Klöntal Valley
MARIA LOBODA (*1979 in Cracow/PL, lives in Berlin and New York), at Kunsthaus Glarus and in Klöntal Valley
OTTO MEYER AMDEN (1885-1933, lived in Amden/St.Gallen), at Kunsthaus Glarus
DANE MITCHELL (*1976 in Auckland, lives in Auckland, NZ/Aotearoa), at Kunsthaus Glarus
MARTA RINIKER-RADICH (*1982 in Bern, lives in Geneva), at Kunsthaus Glarus
MICHAEL SAILSTORFER (*1979 in Velden/AT, lives in Berlin), in Klöntal Valley
RICO SCAGLIOLA & MICHAEL MEIER (*1985 in Uster/*1982 in Chur, live in Zurich), at Kunsthaus Glarus and in Klöntal Valley
JERSZY SEYMOUR (*1968 in Berlin, lives in Berlin), in Klöntal Valley
HANNAH WEINBERGER (*1988 in Filderstadt/Germany, lives in Basel), at Kunsthaus Glarus and in Klöntal Valley

Exhibition at Kunsthaus Glarus: May 25 to August 10, 2014
Outdoor works in Klöntal Valley: May 25 to September 14, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 1:30 – 9:30 pm
Kunsthaus Glarus: Introduction by Sabine Rusterholz Petko and Alexandra Blättler / performance by Dane Mitchell / followed by a bus ride to Klöntal Valley (limited number of seats, please reserve ahead) / walk along Klöntalersee (Vorauen) / bus ride to Richisau / performance by Christian Philipp Müller / followed by a visit to the art projects around Richisau / 6:30 pm aperitif and dinner at Gasthaus Richisau / 9:30 pm bus ride to Glarus.

Sunday, June 8, 11:30 am
Gallery tour with the curators in Kunsthaus Glarus. Followed by soup and refreshments.

Saturday, June 21, 1 – 5 pm, buying and selling art at the Güterschuppen. Short tours with the curators of the exhibition and public performance rehearsal. 5 pm performance by Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group with the dancers Racheli Nul-Kahana, Ruthie Sela, Mor Bashan & Noga Goral, the Noa Eshkol Foundation of Movement Notation, Holon, Israel, Chairman: Mooky Dagan.

Saturday and Sunday, September 13-14 at the Ferienheim Niederurnen on Klöntalersee with performances, dinner, and overnight accommodation.
Detailed program:

Exhibition curators: Alexandra Blättler and Sabine Rusterholz Petko
Assistant: Caroline Lommaert
Text work / editor: Luzia Davi, Die Wörterei
Translation: Erik Smith
Kunsthaus Glarus team: Christoph Steiner, Stefan Wagner
Technology team: Alina Clavuot, Clas Ebeling, Thomas Stüssi, Fabian Wösthoff

Ernst Goehner Stiftung, Garbef Stiftung, Glarner Kantonalbank, Landis & Gyr Foundation, Melchior and Catherine Kamm Menzi Stiftung, Kanton Glarus – Swisslos Kulturfonds, Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council, Canton de Valais

Images for download can be found at>press. Additional images will be made available following the exhibition opening. No press conference will be held. Personal appointments and a tour of the Klöntal Triennale can be arranged at any time. Contact:, or call +41 ( 0) 55 640 25 35.

Tuesday to Friday 2 – 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
For special opening times see:
Klöntal Valley is accessible at all times

With a private car from Glarus or Netstal follow signs to Riedern. Parking is available at Gasthaus Richisau.
Shuttle schedule from Glarus station, direction Richisau:
Saturday and Sunday from May 3 – 25, starting daily on May 29 – June 27 as well as Monday- Friday Aug.11 - Oct. 17: 8:45 am, 10:45 am, 12:45 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm Addition shuttles from June 28 – Aug. 10 as well as Saturday and Sunday from Aug. 16 – Oct. 19: 7:25 am, 9:25 am, 2:45 pm and 4:45 pm.
From Richisau, direction Glarus Station:
Saturday and Sunday from May 3 – 25, starting daily on May 29 – June 27 as well as Monday- Friday Aug.11 - Oct. 17: 9:35 am, 11:35 am, 2:25 pm, 4:25 pm, 6:25 pm Additional shuttles from June 28 – Aug. 10 as well as Saturday and Sunday from Aug. 16 – Oct. 19: 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 3:25 pm and 5:25 pm.
Additional information:
The exhibition in Klöntal Valley is freely accessible. Proper footwear is required. Detailed maps and informational material for touring Klöntal Valley are available at Kunsthaus Glarus and Gasthaus Richisau. We recommend starting the tour beginning in Richisau and walking from there by foot along the marked paths or along the road toward Klöntalersee. The tour between Richisau and Klöntalersee takes approximately two hours. From Kunsthaus Glarus, you should allow for three to four hours.
Restaurant and accommodation options:
Gasthaus Richisau,
Additional restaurants / hotels: Hotel-Restaurant Rhodannenberg, Hotel-Restaurant Vorauen, Gasthaus Im Plätz, Berggasthaus Schwammhöhe
Camping: Güntlenau and Vorauen

Two Exhibitions
dal 7/2/2015 al 2/5/2015

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