The exhibition ‘Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller: United Alternative Energies’ is the most expansive presentation of the work of the Swiss duo to date, featuring ten works, four of which are new productions.
Hemauer | 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 roof of the West Wing of the White House.
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. In 2008 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...)
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Christina Hemauer (1973) and Roman Keller (1969) live and work in Zürich, Switzerland. Recent exhibitions and projects include: Globalising the Internationale, for Portscapes (2009) and Portscapes exhibition, at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2010); 11th Cairo International Biennale, El Cairo (2008–9), Nettoyage énergétique, Center Contemporary Art Fribourg (2007), A Manifestation, a Dedication and a Place to get the Word out, Swiss Art Awards, Basilea (2007); At this place, Postpetrolism was heralded on 27 April 2006, Kunsthof, Zurich (2006).
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
A 36-page full colour publication in English and Danish will be printed on the occasion of the exhibition. It includes an introductory essay by the curators on the artists' practice as well as short texts about each of the works included in the exhibition.
‘Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller: United Alternative Energies’ has been possible thanks to the generous support of The Danish Arts Council Committee for International Visual Art; Pro Helvetia and the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation.