We are delighted to announce that for the first time we will be showing a major installation by the young Swiss artist Emmanuelle Antille in our newly refurbished gallery. Born in Lausanne in 1972, Antille has developed into one of Switzerland’s most important video artists. Her work includes the film “Wouldn’t it be nice” (1999) and the related installation “Silent Protections”, which tell the story of a family and a mother-daughter relationship. What at first sounds quite harmless is in reality a stifling, visually impressive treatment of closeness and distance, which explores the fine line between loving relationships and physical and emotional intrusion. The actions of the people involved and their obscure rituals bear a tinge of artifice, and the film’s vivid details stay with you for a long time after you leave the exhibition.
Emmanuelle Antille plays in most of her films as her alter ego, her doppelgänger – her “Blood Sister”, as she calls it. Often her family and friends also feature as important protagonists. In “Wouldn’t it be nice”, for example, Antilles mother, aunt and grandmother are central characters. This gives the films part of their tension: the atmosphere is charged, dense and disturbing, even though the viewer has no inkling of the real family relationships involved.
“Radiant Spirits” (2000), produced for the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, was Antille’s first offering for a Zurich audience. It is a sexual, or more accurately an erotic, fantasy, a film shot through with relationships, rituals, and obscure attacks and incursions. As in other films by Emmanuelle Antille, music plays a key role.
From May 5, 2001 onwards, the new, Galerie Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber will play host to Emmanuelle Antille’s largest work so far: “As deep as our sleep, as fast as your heart” (2001). To some extent this film takes up where “Wouldn’t it be nice” left off. The relationship between mother and daughter (played by Antille and her own mother) is subjected to rigorous investigation. The aunt appears like an eerie backdrop, creating an alternative space to the world in which mother and daughter appear to be trapped in themselves. Inner and outer space, day and night, submission and dominance are major elements of the film. The story and imposing images intertwine on various screens and monitors: the impact on the viewer is disturbing.
Antille’s films stand on the cusp between video installations and cinema – the artist tells stories. A work building on “As deep as our sleep, as fast as your heart” will be shown at Art Unlimited during Art Basel from June 13 to 18: “Night for Day” (2001) plays directly on the cinema idea – the film and its trailer will be viewed in a cinema structure, right down to the neon sign.