As children, I’m sure many of you played the game of “consequences” an amusing party game where each person contributed text to a scenario as it unfolded on a piece of paper. Likewise, we also used the technique of constructing a picture of a person on folded paper, where only the tiniest segment of each part of the body was revealed to each participant until the (often hilarious) end. The surrealists dubbed this technique, “Exquisite Corpse”, and this becomes the entry point to the Steinbrüchel/ Schurer collaboration. Originally rendered as an 8 channel surround sound installation for the Kunsthaus, Zurich, the piece is presented here in more condensed form for NVO.
The Exquisite Corpse technique becomes the compositional focus of Falte, as layer after layer is treated and dissected by each artist, and then laid out in sequence. I am confident in assuming that Steinbrüchel’s contribution consists of his characteristic, intense and reduced tonal pallette, whereas Schurer was a likely agent of intervention, providing stabs of treated electronica, fused between Steinbrüchel’s layers. The net result of this experimentation is a fascinatingly blurred work, that fluctuates between the two differing, but complimentary approaches. If anything, the Exquisite Corpse approach actively seeks to free each artist from their enforced compositional constraints, and by fusing and compositing these layers and segments, we are offered something highly unique and unusual.
The eight pieces that comprise the 57 minute Falte, rarely stray too far from a minimal central theme, and Schurer’s fractured and stratified interventions ensure that this is very much the product of a meeting of minds, rather than a traditional collaboration per se, and remind me very much of early Musique Concret in its free-form fluidity.
One can barely imagine how this must have played out in a Swiss art gallery accompanied by a four channel visual setup by Yves Netzhammer, but as a release in its own right is worthy of serious further investigation. BGN