For their exhibition Horizons But Multiple Horizons, co-presented by Zurich gallery Up State, the duo will showcase two iterations of ongoing projects: a series of fêtes where they screen footage of sunsets around the world as the sun sets over Zürich and a program custom-designed to project every possible color, in sequence, over the course of an exhibition. Both works showcase the duo’s interest in slippages between mediated and real time, and how the subtlest displays of light and color can easily shift from figurative to abstract and back again.
“Since we chose to exhibit in Signal’s black garage, we already have two opposite spaces as a starting point, our black box versus Daniel’s white cube,” Grüter and Graf told Hyperallergic, referring to the concurrent exhibition of fellow Swiss artist Daniel V. Keller‘s work in Signal’s main space. “This kind of space and anti-space is very much related to our thoughts and works. We like to think of contradiction and its resolution as an overlapping hybrid.”
Over the course of a full year (begun earlier in 2014), Grüter and Graf are hosting 11 “watch the sunset” screening parties in Zurich, at which gatherers watch footage of the sun setting over a different city — including Buenos Aires, Casablanca, Helsinki, and New York — while it goes down in real time before them. As part of this project, they’ve taken high-resolution screenshots of the sunset footage, cropped the images, and printed them onto polyester sheets. The resulting banners, hung in the gallery, are practically abstract, like ghostly records of a long-ago, far-away sunset. The works at Signal feature images take from the sunset over Casablanca.
“The panels ‘Slide away between day and night’ (2014), which will be shown [at Signal], embody exactly this kind of relation between the fields of appearance, extension, representation, 3D, 2D, materiality, space, transmission space, imagination, etc,” the artists explained. “Then in the whole installation there are various forms of blurring horizons, although behind a horizon will always appear another horizon.”
The pair’s other piece at Signal, “Coming closer and won’t close” (2014), involves specially calibrated software and projectors scrolling through every possible color. The result is a very, very slow color gradient that viewers may not even notice to be changing if they don’t put in the time. A previous version of the piece, staged in the Swiss city of Kreuzlingen earlier this year, unfolded over the course of five hours. At Signal, the work takes 78 hours to go from red to green to blue to purple and back again. But if you can’t wait for that crepuscular shade of mauve to come around the bend, you can always take a break and look at the sunset.
Selina Grüter + Michèle Graf: Horizons But Multiple Horizons continues at Signal (260 Johnson Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn) through October 26. It is part of Exchange Rates Bushwick, of which Hyperallergic is the media sponsor.