Alexandra Bachzetsis. Instruction Pieces

June 18 – July 26, 2019



Alexandra Bachzetsis, Instruction Pieces, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2019: A Manual for Desire (video, 2018), Catapult (sculpture, 2018) © Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens ZieheAlexandra Bachzetsis, Instruction Pieces, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2019: This Side Up (video, poster, 2007, in cooperation with Julia Born) © Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
Alexandra Bachzetsis, Instruction Pieces, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2019: Secret Instructions (artist’s publications, 2005–2010, in cooperation with Julia Born) © Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
Alexandra Bachzetsis, Instruction Pieces, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2019: This Side Up (video, poster, 2007), Secret Instructions (artist’s publications, 2005–2010) all in cooperation with Julia Born © n.b.k. / Jens Ziehe
Curator: Arkadij Koscheew

In her choreographies, performances, videos and sculptures, Alexandra Bachzetsis examines how contemporary media culture inscribes itself in the body. The core of her exhibition at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) consists of her latest body of works
Escape Act (2018). Bachzetsis picks up stereotypical ideals of body and behavior spread by mass media and treats them by means of persiflage. In this sense, the characters in the video A Manual For Desire wear high heels, wigs, breast and rear paddings, as well as orthopedic back belts as corsets, and restrict their freedom of movement to the same extent that they adapt their bodies to standardized ideas of sexual attractiveness. Bachzetsis uses these props of a world oriented towards fast consumption to develop instructions for new motion sequences. In the works Secret Instructions (2005-2010) and This Side Up (2007), Bachzetsis, in collaboration with Julia Born, takes up the classical vocabulary of theater and dance and develops performances that refer to key aspects of the performing arts – language, movement and spatial organization. By removing the dialogues from pieces by Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, Sarah Kane, and others, the structure of the works becomes clear through stage directions – from which Bachzetsis, then again, creates the score of a play, which was performed by six performers and is presented at n.b.k. in the form of a publication.

Alexandra Bachzetsis (b. 1974 in Zürich, lives and works there) teaches at the Haute école d’art et de design in Geneva. Her work has received numerous awards, including the Art Prize of the City of Zurich (2018), the Swiss Art Award (2016; 2011) and the Swiss Performance Award (2012). Her performances were presented at, among others: Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2019); Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin (2019); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019); Pact Zollverein, Essen (2018); High Line Art, New York (2018). Solo exhibitions (selection): Centre culturel suisse, Paris (2018); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017); Bonner Kunstverein (2014); Kunsthaus Glarus (2010); Kunsthalle Basel (2008). Group exhibitions (selection): Marta Herford (2019; 2005); Museum Tinguely, Basel (2017); documenta 14, Athens and Kassel (2017); Kunstverein Hannover (2016); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012); S.M.A.K., Ghent (2012; 2004); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2009); Berlin Biennale (2008); De Appel, Amsterdam (2006; 2005).