Sylvain Baumann RELIANCE ROOM - text

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 eludes definition.

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.

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