Silvia Bächli & Eric Hattan: What about Sunday?


18 January - 31 March 2013

This January, MK Gallery presents What about Sunday?, the first UK exhibition by Swiss artists Silvia Bächli (born 1956) and Eric Hattan (born 1955), including drawing, video installation and sculpture. Featuring both individual and collaborative pieces, the exhibition suggests numerous parallels in their work despite their contrasting techniques and approaches.

Silvia Bächli works primarily in drawing and painting on paper and includes around 100 works made over the last 25 years, not previously exhibited. Her drawings are both carefully considered and spontaneous, hinting at fleeting moments or movements, often evoking bodies or landscapes, without ever explicitly stating them. They are playful technically, revelling in the unpredictable encounters of brush, watercolour and paper and the variable effects of density, light and shade. Often assembled in clusters or ensembles, displayed on walls and tables as installations of drawings, the cumulative effect is like large and disparate pieces in an incomplete puzzle.

Hattan’s videos, installations and performances are similarly responsive to his surroundings, selecting and rearranging everyday items and finding beauty and humour in them. Through gentle manipulation, by displacing, folding or turning things inside out or upside down, Hattan directs our attention to overlooked details, to how things are made and to why they are there. Whether uprooting a lamppost, gluing objects to the ceiling or hanging Swiss bells round the necks of a flock of sheep, Hattan’s interruptions and disruptions are the result of a curiosity and a questioning of our environment and conventions.

The exhibition also includes collages made collaboratively over the years from discarded snapshots by Hattan and rejected drawings by Bächli, unlikely pairings and unexpected correspondences humorously brought together like a game of consequences. By bringing these two artists together, the exhibition focuses on their ways of looking, with partial visions, perspectival distortions and, in some cases, optical illusions that continually keep us guessing, reconsidering and simply re-inventing the world around us.

A new permanent public art work by Eric Hattan has been commissioned by MK Gallery with the support of The Parks Trust, Milton Keynes. The work will be located in Campbell Park, a few minutes walk from MK Gallery in the centre of Milton Keynes.

publication accompanies the exhibition, featuring short texts by writers selected by the artists in response to a series of photographs taken by Bächli and Hattan during their research visits to Milton Keynes. Includes texts by Samantha Bohatsch, Edwin Burdis, Chris Fite-Wassilik, Bruce Haines, Juli Kreten, Bera Nordal, Andrew Shields, Harriet Zilch, Nina Zimmer, Emil Sennewald, Markus Stegmann, Jürg Halter, Eva Kuhn, Jonas Storsve, Richard Wentworth and Raoul de Keyser. The publication is designed by Astrid Seme and published by Mark Pezinger Verlag.

The exhibition is generously supported by Pro Helvetia, the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, Swiss Cultural Fund in Britain and the Embassy of Switzerland with additional in kind support from Stagsden Christmas Trees.

Press Release Exhibition Guide