Zine workshop with Re:Surgo! (Berlin), Expozine 2015
Saturday November 14, 3 – 4 pm. Expozine Reading Room, 5035 Saint-Dominique. Free admission. Facebook event !
Based in Berlin, Swedish-French artist duo Anna Hellsgård and Christian Gfeller have been working together since 2001, creating paintings, prints, zines and artists’ books, cementing their reputation as master silkscreeners and innovators of the medium with every new project.
Through the years, their desire to never repeat themselves and to create innovative and challenging visual content have animated every project and inspired further experimentation. In their quest to constantly test and push the boundaries of the medium, they deconstruct its conventions, techniques and formal structures.
Their recent series illustrates this questioning of the silkscreening process, as it consciously highlights – and celebrates – its idiosyncrasies. Across the intentional overlaps, smudges, bleeding, glitches and transparencies, we can recognize, in two dimensions, a temporal axis as well, a decidedly analogue visual chronology of becoming. As such, each work is composed of basic visual features such as planes, colors, and forms. Controlled experimentation.
For Hellsgård and Gfeller, it is also, importantly, about un-learning. Chance is prominent, using intensities of colorfield abstraction and concrete geometry. With their series of unique books, such as the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, Hellsgård and Gfeller have also re-thought the format of the book. Each of the books in this series is titled after a chapter of the canonic literary work, and, with its solemn cover and precious binding, like a unique manuscript, prompts one to rethink the understanding of what a book is, how it is made, how it circulates as a material object and how it mediates its content. Each page is a unique print / painting, and on each, the pictorial references and figurative elements disintegrate and realign into an abstract composition across the multiple planes of the image. Echoing its literary namesake, a dense visual narrative emerges across the pages of each book.
Gfeller & Hellsgård’s works have been exhibited worldwide and are in numerous permanent collections such as MoMA NY, MoMA SF, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Stanford Art Library, Harvard University’s Fine Art Library, the State Museum of Berlin’s Art Library, the Yale University Art Collection, the British Library, the National Library of Luxembourg, and many more.
The Collection of the University of Minnesota recently bought the complete silk-screened book archive of Anna Hellsgård and Christian Gfeller under the moniker Bongoût (1995-2012).