Are you talking to me?
November 29, 2018–January 26, 2019
Bernhard Knaus Fine Art
Hours: Monday–Friday 1–6pm,
T +49 69 24450768
We are pleased to announce the solo exhibition Are you talking to me? by Swiss artist Daniele Buetti.
In the middle of the portrait—nothing. No, an empty room. Daniele Buetti has cut out the face and inserted a mirror surface. If we stood in front of it, we would be reflected in it. “Do not talk to me,” the faceless nature rules us. No, it’s not about dialogue. Not a verbal exchange between two persons, whose faces reflect the statements of the other person. Instead, we look at ourselves.
Let’s face it, with what eagerness and excess today smartphones are drawn and selfies are snapped, we realize: We live in a thoroughly narcissistic age. Or, to use a term of the sociologist Andreas Reckwitz, in a time of “singularization” of all possible life decisions. We are driven by the constant need to make one’s life something special.
All around we meet with outrageous self-centeredness, self-realization and self-marketing—and are themselves trapped in it. Uncounted times a day, we deliberately or unwillingly take a look into the mirror—at home, in the elevator, in front of reflecting facades or in the glasses of our counterpart. In the past, the mirrors were used for the mirrors, today they are no longer attached to anything improper or uncanny.
Are we all self-optimizers and narcissists? What distinguishes these? Buetti’s faceless portraits raise a number of questions: they also allow us to think about sociological aspects as well as aesthetic and art-historical themes: were paintings over millennia holy pictures or windows that opened the view into another spiritual space, then what are pictures today? Mirror? And what do we see, if not our own Reflection?
Daniele Buetti was born in 1955 in Friborg, Switzerland and lives and works in Zurich. Since 2004 he is a professor at the Kunstakademie Münster. His works are in prestigious international private, corporate and museum collections.