DAN LEVENSON/LITTLE SWITZERLAND
Little Switzerland is a multi-disciplinary art project centered around the story of a fictional Swiss art gallery and the artists who showed there. I propose to take Little Switzerland to an art fair to see how it interacts with real galleries.
Little Switzerland is a multi-disciplinary project centered around the story of a group of Swiss art students. After graduating from the prestigious Staatliche Kunstakademie Zürich (State Art Academy in Zurich) in 1995 they started Little Switzerland as a collaborative artist-run space. In 1997 it moved to Berlin’s Auguststrasse as a more ambitious commercial venture. It ran through three seasons there before closing in 1999. Using painting, sculpture, photography, installation, performance, video and a printed matter, I excavate a fictional narrative in an attempt to understand and re-create all the external circumstances which form our understanding of the work of art. The project is an attempt to reconcile the painting as an autonomous physical object with all the mythologies that surround it.
My goal for the next two years is to elaborate on the story of the Staatliche Kunstakademie Zürich, a fictional art college from which the artists surrounding Little Switzerland all emerged. I have built a series of "Student Painting Storage Cabinets" and have begun filling them with aged-looking oil on linen “Student Paintings” in a variety of abstract styles. These will later be used as props for a dance performance with video documentation inspired by Babette Mangolte’s 1978 film documenting Lucinda Child’s dance performance “Calico Mingling.”
The cabinets are on casters and move easily. A group of dancers or performers will be employed to push the cabinets, sliding paintings off the shelves and moving them around the space in a ritualized allegory of the painting's progress from student exercise to market commodity.