‘Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller: United Alternative Energies’ is the most expansive presentation of their work to date, featuring ten works, four of which are new productions.
Swiss artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller investigate energy – as an allegorical concept, an invisible force, and a defining theme of geopolitics and modernity. One of the main focuses of their practice is the history of oil and the fate and future of its competing alternatives, notably solar power.
Hemauer | Keller make use of a range of strategies – re-enactment and performance, as well as documentary video, sculpture and text. Their work often provides an opportunity to revitalize key historical moments. For example, the 66 minute documentary essay ‘A Road Not Taken’ (2010) examines former US President Jimmy Carter’s early and ultimately futile efforts to raise awareness about oil dependency, as symbolized by the installation, in 1979, of solar panels on the White House roof.
Also featured in this exhibition is No.1 Sun Engine (2008–9). In 1913, American inventor Frank Shuman inaugurated the first large-scale solar power generator
near Cairo, Egypt. Although it was economically viable compared to coal
power, the plant was only used for one year. The artists reconstructed two segments of this pioneering facility and established an information kiosk where local residents and passers-by could discover and contribute to its story.
Globalising the Internationale (2006–ongoing) is a choral work which refers to the songs of socialism and the workers' movements
– one of the most widespread social upheavals of the late 19th and
early 20th Centuries. With this project, the artists aim to use the collective force of the human voice to herald a new age of alternative energy beyond fossil fuels. (+ info...)