Passenger/ PRISHTINA (Kosovo)
08.07.2017 – 31.08.2017

„Puzzle“ was developed and conceived together, cooperatively and in parts collaboratively. Bernhard Hegglin and Clifford E. Bruckmann share a discussion, a conversation within a defined space under specific conditions. „Puzzle“ is a two-position presentation surrounding a common conversation and exchange.

The exhibition title is „Puzzle“, please explain?

BH: It’s not only a question of logic, but also of the motif of the puzzle. There is an undeniable quality to the idea of the „puzzle“: you can’t escape the quintessence of the result.
CEB: Puzzle, although it might seem utterly descriptive of one element of this exhibition, is meant to be more of a metaphor, maybe even a mood if you will. Sort of like an uncertainty of which you’re quite sure it can be solved, but the solution doesn’t occur to you until after the fact. Then there’s also this aspect of fragmentation in, for instance, jigsaw puzzles. Planned and defined lines, in which an image can break but also be put together again. When thinking about it, there are these cycling and recurring themes of fragmentation, breakage and bewilderment, but simultaneous thoughts of a solution, of bringing parts, which alone have no meaning, together to a whole by allowing them to position themselves to each other in a (or many) certain relationships. And then there is also this aspect of transition and transformation, when attempting to piece something together. This might seem a bit like a platitude, but for this exhibition, in this setting and these circumstances it seemed on point.

How do materials relate to the subject or content of your work?

CEB: Materials of course always carry an associative force with them. That, up to a certain degree, is how I can establish notions or entry points into the story I’d like to tell or the conversation I would like to have. However, I do not feel comfortable imposing a specific history of an object onto such a conversation. In that sense I try to use and choose material as triggers, rather than as carriers of specific information or data. I consider material as a tool, as means to create a thought environment which is as open as possible, before than adding or adjusting data by means of presentation or relationship to then, hopefully, arrive at a conversation and exchange I would like to have.
BH: The work I’m showing here is part of a larger cycle. I’ve made several different „door situations“ in the past. So this is not completely new. As far as materials go, the appearance is generated through the process of making which of course directly involves the materials used. In this case I use the material in order to show a, if you will, unfinished skeleton of what it could be.

How about motifs? Are there motifs you often use?

BH: If you take furniture or interior appliances as a task of sorts, then it is recurring in my work. This task functions as projection plane and test area simultaneously.
CEB: In my case I would tend to say „no“ in the sense of an image. I have a short attention span. On the other hand I of course have thematic or topical complexes which I feel close to and pop up every now and then and are deeply rooted in my thinking and approach towards my surrounding.

Do your works stand in relation to each others in this show?

CEB: I think very much so. The exhibition itself has been a discussion and negotiation over a longer period of time, of course also involving the history Bernhard and I share. For me it was or is completely impossible to put together my contribution to this exhibition autonomously or autarkically. I also don’t think it would have made sense to approach this any differently. We’ve had the luxurious opportunity for a long exchange while thinking about this show and how to approach it. Of course, the intensity of the relations varies through the elements, as it did during the conception. But I guess that’s how negotiations, discourse and dialogue work: in some things you find common ground and share an opinion, in others you’re more interested in a different aspect, approach or idea than your vis-à-vis. Or at least that’s the spectrum.

Have you worked together before?

CEB & BH: We’ve known each other for a while now. We’ve been in exhibitions together, but we’ve never worked together as intensely and maybe specifically as we did for this exhibition.

How was it to work together? Especially in a city which is not your home?

BH: What was interesting to me, is to go through the process of experiencing a surrounding which is new to me together with someone instead of by myself. From the first moment there is a multitude of perspectives or aspects, while, if I were by myself, the process of reflection and consideration would be less diverse. Having to weigh and balance these different points of view in regards to a new surrounding is something completely different than working on one’s own.
CEB: I immensely enjoyed it. It’s not always easy, but in the end I feel like I learned a lot. Bernhard is a smart guy with an incredibly distinct sensorium. On some things we are far from being on the same page which allows for incredibly intense and, in my opinion, valuable negotiation and discussion. Something I enjoy. Being in a surrounding which is not quite as familiar as where we live has also proven to have a strong influence on how to approach this entire exhibition, but it never felt like compromise or difficulty. On the contrary: the surrounding in Prishtinë is incredibly supportive. There is this amazing network of people, who are so dedicated to supporting and being hospitable and helpful. I also have to say that this, for me, doesn’t end with the opening of this exhibition, but it’s maybe just a starting point, albeit somewhat artificial of course, to a relationship involving Prishtinë and all that that might entail and me. I don’t think I would feel comfortable if I just flew in and then left again without at least the willingness to form something beyond this one specific project. In that sense this project is just a mere bookmark for me.

Courtesy of the artists and Passenger
Photocredit Majlinda Hoxha