Nina Haab
Cabinet of engraved topicalities
10. June – 15. July 2017
Vernissage: Friday 9th June, 6pm – 9pm


Nina Haab’s practice of artistic research revolves around collective memory, exploring people's life stories, personal archives and the meanings of place. For her first solo show in Bern at DuflonRacz, the artist will present her newest work Mon(t)-Soleil (2017) and images from her Calce (2016) series in the “dark space”. Historical and contemporary photographs of people and landscapes are presented in different formats, including video, to tell stories that oscillate between fiction and documentation. In the LINKS space, her new work Missive (2017) inscribes old photographs as drawings on old pieces of used wooden furniture. The drawings erase the facial expressions of the photographs’ protagonists, focusing on and altering the strange and haunting details in the images, from which new stories are spun and expressed in short, poignant sentences – the “missives” of the title. The installation brings together new works from this series especially for the gallery space.

At the same time in the "white" space at the back of the gallery we are happy to present our third solo show by painter Claude Gigon, presenting recent work from his series "Lumière". The two artist’s work is clearly very different: while Gigon pursues intuitive, essential expression in the traditional medium of oil paint, Nina Haab’s practice is research based and employs various media – from video and photography to installations and interactive performances – to suit the ideas, aims and atmosphere of a project. However, in the works exhibited here both artists are concerned with the links between place and memory, between factual testimony and the potential of imagination and storytelling. Both the artist’s pieces are less about showing a landscape than about exploring its personal meanings and associations. Another link is the particular landscape of various places in the Jura mountains, where Gigon lives and works, and which two of the works by Nina Haab explore through in-depth site specific research.

Nina Haab is a Swiss artist born in 1985 in Bellinzona. She currently lives and works in Geneva, where she graduated with a BA and MA in Visual Arts at the Haute Ecole d'Art et de Design (HEAD). In 2012, she was awarded and artist’ studio by the city of Geneva and won a Swiss Art Award in Basel. In 2015-16 she was invited to participate at ABA residency in Berlin, supported by Pro Helvetia. Her recent solo exhibitions include projects at Kunstwerke Berlin (2016), Kreuzberg Pavilion Berlin (2015), Sonnenstube Lugano (with Nino Baumgartner, 2014), standard/deluxe Lausanne (2013) and la rada Locarno (2011). Her work has been included in group shows in Kunsthaus Langenthal (2017), Kunstmuseum Luzern (2015), Art en plein air Motiers (2015) and Helmhaus Zurich (2011) among others. She is a co-founder of the collective NotOnlyKidsPlay.

Wir freuen uns bei DuflonRacz die erste Berner Einzelausstellung der Tessiner Künstlerin Nina Haab (lebt und arbeitet in Genf) präsentieren zu dürfen. Nina Haab setzt sich in verschiedenen Medien mit kollektiver Erinnerung, persönlichen Archiven und Ortserfahrung auseinander. Die Künstlerin zeigt im dunklen Raum ihre neuste Arbeit Mon(t)-Soleil (2017) sowie historische Fotografien und eigene Landschaftsaufnahmen aus dem Projekt Calce (2016). Für das Projekt Links schafft die Künstlerin die raumfüllende Installation Missive (2017), bestehend aus alten Möbeln und Teppichen. Direkt auf die Holzmöbel zeichnet sie alte Fotografien ab, die im Prozess der Aneignung verändert werden um ihre eigene, alternative Geschichte zu erzählen.

Gleichzeitig stellt im Weissen Raum der autodidaktische Maler Claude Gigon Arbeiten aus seiner Serie Lumière aus. Trotz den offensichtlich sehr unterschiedlichen Arbeitsweisen und Interessen der beiden Künstler, gibt es auch Verbindungen zwischen den Ausstellungen. Beiden geht es weniger um die Darstellung von Landschaften und faktischen historischen Ereignissen als um die persönlichen Bedeutungen und Assoziationen, auch imaginären Annäherungen, die sich in der Auseinandersetzung mit einem Ort ergeben. Ausserdem weisen einige von Haabs Arbeiten einen Bezug zum Jura auf, wo Claude Gigon lebt und arbeitet.