Swiss Institute - Contemporary Art
exhibitions news









June 1 - August 7, 2004

"What it all means is also hard to say. There is a visceral absurdity about the wall, and it is sad how it divides and isolates two people who, we may imagine, might otherwise productively commune and collaborate. Reading in an allegory about international relations (a comment, say, on Israeli-Palestinian relations) may or may not be warranted, but the thought does come to mind. You can also imagine a cinematic thriller about a single person divided into two disassociated personalities — one potentially violent. Ultimately, however, the main excitement of Mr. Büchel's ingenious construction is the Alice in Wonderland feeling of entering a mysteriously eccentric and possibly nonsensical parallel universe." - Ken Johnson, The New York Times, July 30, 2004

"This hot young Swiss artist...transforms the Swiss Institute beyond recognition with a daunting apartment installation of dingy rooms within rooms. The institute's wide entrance and big, bare space have vanished, replaced by a Kabakovian tenement door...'Only people who live in the East Village can dig this,' remarked one shaken viewer, crawling out. Others might link it to a lineage that includes Alfred Jarry's legendary halved apartment, Ed Kienholz's SRO tableau, or even Duchamp's bachelors." -Kim Levin, Village Voice, June 23 - 29, 2004

"The journey though the installation is by turns delightful, revolting and surprising; the overall experience is visceral. Buchel forces us to drop our critical distance and get our hands dirty. Merrily Kerr, Time Out New York, July 8 - 15 2004

"Tearing a page out of a Charlie Kaufman script, Swiss artist Christoph Büchel creates a mind-bending installation worthy of a four-star production. From the moment you step off the elevator and ring for entry, things get strange." Paul Laster,, June 13 2004

S I opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 - 6