Courtesy of Widmer Theodoridis
‘If this was a minefield and I could hear the sea in the distance’ is the first solo show of Annette Stöcker and Christian
Selig at widmertheodoridis. The eponymous installation is accompanied by new works on paper.
For this spacious installation stöckerselig have collected carpets with a personal background–each carpet comes from a private collection. Each piece has its own story, beginning in its home country with its respective traditions up to here where Oriental rugs had a long tradition of representing wealth and sophistication. In the meantime they have lost their romantic innocence. A minefield of political and social questions is disclosed and hits the observer in such a clear way that no one can deny.
The natural conditions of the Asian steppes with their dry, windy and often harsh climate require a light and trans- portable protection against the ground. There was plenty of wool and on the basis of the nomad culture the carpet was invented. The oldest specimen is over 2500 years old. From the steppes the carpet found its way into the Persian palaces which cultivated, elaborated their craftsmanship and elevated the carpet to an object of prestige. A hand- woven carpet is always a unique piece and every carpet reflects its origin as much as the one of its owner. In the 19th century the Europeans discovered the Oriental rug and absorbed it into their home design. By means of industrial production the Oriental rug eventually become for everyone an affordable piece of furniture.
To leave back a carpet means to give up a substantial part of its safe home. stöckerselig point in their installation deliberately to the present migration flows. The carpet in yesterday’s living room as an object of longing, wanderlust, adventure decays to a stumbling stone of doubtful world views. The sea as a holiday destination turns out to be at best a cloaca of failed environmental policy and at worst a death trap full of drowned boat refugees. The modern first sin of the rich Western world has reached the daily life of the average citizen and our affluent society has de- finitely lost its innocence.
stöckerselig leave it to the observer which version to choose from. Their references are plenty such as calligraphy, craftsmanship, commodity, symbolism and even poetry as in the work title. This open condition allows the observer to personalize, to transform an eventually embrace this piece of art.
Annette Stöcker and Christian Selig live and work in Basel and Zürich. They have been collaborating since 1987. Their work often refers to socio-political events eliding interpretation. Numerous shows and institutions have pre- sented stöckerselig such as Werkschau 16 Thurgau, Fabric Culture, Hegenheim, F, Kunstmuseum Thurgau, Ittingen and Kunsthalle Basel.
price on demand
Fabrikculture, Hegenheim (F), 2016
Gallery Widmer Theoridis (CH), 2017
directly from the artist