Reliance Room ‑ a place of trust
Carpets and concrete bases,
image and text, a
water dispenser, a potted plant, a railing, background sound and blue foil. With these familiar
elements Sylvain Baumann converts the space of utengasse sechzig into a place to linger, of waiting or into a lobby.
But despite all the familiarity it
In a process of formal
and thematic layering a social
space unfolds, which again and again is also implemented on a further level in its interaction with the visitors. The result is a place of stratification, in the English sense of the word: stratification = the act of stratifying.
The sequence of formal horizontal and vertical planes carries and attracts and leads to a background layer
which is designed by the image-text "Thank you for your cooperation",
a photography and sound. A female voice-over gives calm and clear instructions
and advice. The sound material has
been chosen by Sylvain Baumann
from one of the many "how to behave"-guides from YouTube. The
photograph itself is a work of stratification: You can see the photograph of a herd
of monkeys in a natural environment, which hangs behind
panes in a non-defined space. If
you stand outside in front of the
right window of the exhibition space, you become ‑ as an observer opposite this photography ‑ part of the layering.
During the development process of the exhibition Sylvain Baumann stood in a
lively virtual exchange with Douglas
Stichbury (artist, New Zealand)
and an ongoing dialogue about the content and intention took place. Mareike Spendel
(art historian, Berlin) was invited to
write a meta-text about the exhibition from afar.
Text: Françoise Theis
Sylvain Baumann, born in France in 1981, studied art (MA) from
2001 to 2008 in Strasbourg,
Aix-Marseille and Montreal, has lived and worked in Basel and France since 2009. Exhibitions in France, Canada, Germany,
Ukraine, Taiwan, Switzerland.