Autor: Günther

Roy Hofer

the beach

too big to fail

Bei der Installation «the beach», welche im Aabach außerhalb des Fensters versteckt hervorschaut, ist eine Szenerie nach dem Zuschnitt westlichen «Lifestyles» auf Sand von den Stränden Dubais zu sehen. Die Trauerweide steht als Symbol für die Liebenden und ist zugleich auch eine elegische Allusion auf die Jugendzeit.

Bei den Objekten «too big to fail», fabriziert aus Art Basel Katalogen, wird der ernüchterte Blick auf Kunstmessen zum Thema. Bekanntlich ist Kunst hoch gehandeltes Spekulationsobjekt. Was machen derweil finanziell bescheidener ausstellende Galerien? Welche Auswirkungen hat der Markt auf die Kunst und damit auf die Künstler?

(1976), Rheinfelden AG

pixelpunx (Pascal Arnold, Silja Dietiker)

(Pascal Arnold, Silja Dietiker)

Your endless dream

Man nehme ein Tablet, drei Spiegel sowie eine Lichtkugel – und da ist er, der Sinnesrausch.

An Günthers Fest der Künste im Tommasini Lenzburg verwandelt die prismatische Installation des Kollektivs pixelpunx (Pascal Arnold, Silja Dietiker) den Ausstellungsraum in ein Kaleidoskop miriadenfach gebrochener Lichtpunkte.

Olivia Wiederkehr

Seven spaces, 2014

Sieben blütenförmig miteinander verbundene Expeditionszelte. Das kürbisfarbene Expeditionszelt spielt in mehreren ihrer Arbeiten eine Hauptrolle. Auch für diese Ausstellung wurden die Zelte ihrer ursprünglichen Funktion enthoben und in den Dienst der Kunst und Ästhetik gestellt: Vom Mount Everest in die ehemalige Teigwarenfabrik. Sowohl Olivias performative Objekte, als auch ihre Ölbilder strotzen vor üppiger Farbigkeit. Flüchtige Momente, Balanceakte und räumliche Beziehungen sind wiederkehrende Themen ihres Schaffens.

Nici Jost

Sorting Rice, 2018

Video 2:05h
Photography, Fine art print on alu-dibond 50x75cm
Room painted in “Peach Pink” (Pink Colour System)
Spending most of the time of my life in Europe and North America my research is strongly anchored in the western culture. Here it is one of the few colours in the spectrum that establishes a certain emotional and aesthetic condition which are dealt with by each viewer in different ways. It is fraught with many prejudices and associations. Above all, in adults world, pink has mainly negative and highly controversial connotation. On the one hand it is considered a girl’s or baby color, but pink is historically also the color for the royal offspring (called the “little magenta”). Due to the Nazi stigmatization of pink, the color received a negative “gay” connotation in today’s male society. Paradoxically, pink is now used as a group marker for homosexuals. I am playing with that physical and mental reaction of the audience. But I am not only working with pink as controversial element of social and cultural associations, also part of it are evolutionary influences, the use and perception of color determined by the context of each cultural sphere.
After creating the “Pink Colour System” in 2016, by systematically organizing and categorizing the colour pink, not only emphasizing different hues and shades of pink but also their historical, political and social meanings and the psychological effects it has on people and the reactions it provokes, I decided to extend my research to a global scale. China in particular might be one of the most enlightening destinations for an art-specific, intercultural analysis of the aesthetics of the colour pink, and my work in general. I found it rather difficult to find out more about the role of the colour pink in China using only the internet and literature found in Europe. My vision was to investigate and capture the colour and its perception in Chinese culture on site. What does colour say about cultures in general? Different cultures have different colour theories, especially pink seems to be a very interesting parameter to investigate.
„Peach Pink“ is one of the two new pink shades created in China, during a six month residency in Shanghai. The colourful rice is part of my pink collection. The rice is made by the ethnic minority group Buyi. The traditional five-coloured glutinous rice is prepared to celebrate the beginning of a new year.

Mirjam Spoolder

A New Error

Teppiche, Leim, Baumwolle, Holz, Nagel (300 x 200 cm), 2018

In ihrer neuen Arbeit stellt Mirjam Spoolder Grenzen in frage. Welche und wo sind unsere Grenzen? Was bedeuten Grenzen und wie gehen wir mit ihnen um?

Die Künstlerin stammt aus den Niederlanden, wohnt in der Schweiz und arbeitet in Basel und Mulhouse (FR). Geografische und kulturelle Grenzen sowie ihre Erfahrungen im Grenzbereich zwischen Mode, Kunst und Theater spielen in ihrer Arbeit eine bedeutende Rolle.

Mirjam Spoolder begann diese neue Arbeit während ihrer letzten Ausstellung im Juni 2018 in der Kunsthallekleinbasel in Basel. Der Titel der Ausstellung war «Living Together», wo Kunst, Design und Mode in einem kleinen Ausstellungsraum aufeinander trafen.

Sie setzte sich mit «De Stijl» auseinander und ließ sich von dem holländischen Maler Theo van Doesburg inspirieren. De Stijl war eine niederländische Gruppe von Malern, Architekten und Designern, benannt nach dem Magazin De Stijl, das in 1917 in Leiden gegründet wurde.

Maya Lama

In Günthers Ausstellung im Tommasini Lenzburg werden auch leise Töne angeschlagen.

Papier ist der Träger der Werke der Künstlerin Maya Lama, deren ephemere Arbeiten bevorzugt ihren je eigenen Entstehungsprozess reflektieren. Die Spuren, aus denen ihre Arbeiten bestehen, üben die Beobachtung, Konzentration und Forschen des Geistes und dessen mäandernden Gang durch den Entstehungsprozess. Die Spuren auf ihren Bildern bilden physischen Raum und Reflexionsraum gleichermaßen ab.

Die faserige Oberfläche fungiert als ein Zeitstrahl, auf dem sich jeder filigrane Strich als eine Momentaufnahme niederschlägt.

aufgewachsen in Nepal, arbeitet in Zürich


Maya Lama


  1. Untitled 3

from Tracing Paper Series

0.8mm black inkpen on paper,

154 x 154.5 cm


  1. Untitled 5

from Tracing Paper Series

masking fluid and black ink on paper

151 x 150cm


  1. Untitled 1

from Tracing Rotating Paper Series

0.2mm black inkpen on paper,

100 x 100cm


  1. Untitled 2

from Tracing and Distraction Series

0.2mm black inkpen, 1.5-3mm invisible UV marker and 1mm yellow fluorescent marker on paper

154×154.5 cm




Untitled 3

from Tracing Paper Series

0.8mm black inkpen on paper


  1. Get a big white paper.

Any kind will do. Thin or thick, as long as it is not too textured. But textured is also okay, if that is what you end up having. You might still remember the roll of free paper you found abandoned on the side of a photocopy machine while walking with the professional book binder, Pierre, after a break from your respective workshops on the 5th floor of Toni in Zurich. If it still has some paper left on the roll, which it probably does because it looked like a large one, you can use it for this work as well.


  1. Cut this free paper into 154 by 154.5cm.


  1. Get a 0.8mm black inkpen.

Archival quality, water and fade proof, is a safe option. I use PIN 08-200 BLACK from Unipin, Mitsubishi Co.Ltd, made in Vietnam, bought from the ITZ store in Toni, Zurich. It costs 2 Francs 20 Rappen, but if you’re a student like me, you can get a 10% discount and buy it for 1 Franc 98 Rappen.


  1. You can choose a 0.8 mm inkpen in your favorite color if you want.  

For this, I never once thought about using yellow just because yellow is my favorite color. Actually, when I was young, I was in a Yellow Team for 10 years in school, competing against red, blue and green teams. Also, once, someone said that yellow is my lucky color. But you can choose whatever color you decide to choose.


  1. Set up the paper against a wall with good light.

The natural light from the left window of my atelier during the day and the above ceiling fluorescent light at night works quite well. If necessary, use a table lamp to light up the work. The goal is to be able to see the surface texture of the paper well.


  1. Start from the top left corner of the paper.

Trace the texture of the paper as you see it. It’s easier if you follow the shadows of the lines that appear on the surface.


  1. If you need to take a break, take it.

It could be for food, coffee, toilet, or friends passing by for a talk. Remember to work hard but not too hard.


  1. Leave a little empty circle about 1cm in diameter after every break.

Every time you come back to your work after a break, leave a small space of the paper in the shape of a circle before tracing the paper texture, kind of like a symbolic gesture of the pause in the work flow.


  1. If this is the third big size of tracing series that you are attempting and titling it Untitled 3 from Tracing Paper Series, you’re still a beginner.

But perhaps by this time, you’re able to concentrate more without crying too much because of yawning too much because what you’re doing is super boring. You might also be feeling less and less like your eyes are going cockeyed from looking too closely at the paper which used to remind you of this girl from high school. Sometimes, you weren’t sure if she was talking to you or to someone behind you and you were always deeply ashamed when you turned back to confirm the other person only to find that there was no one there. She was really talking just to you. Now you think of your eyes being like hers and although not bad at all, it’s preferable to not have it, because she had to do some eye training therapy for a few years. It took her a lot of effort to fix it. If it were me, I don’t know if I would have the patience to do it and so I would probably just let it be, because actually for you, the world still looks the same and fixing it would be for others anyway. But now she is a super famous actress in Nepal so I guess for her it mattered.


  1. The boredom and the unfocused eye feelings are ok.

Just look out the window occasionally at the orange brick building across the street. If you’re lucky you could try and find some far away hill top. The patchy hill doesn’t particularly look any better but they say it’s better than the orange building for your eyes.


  1. After resting your eyes on the small hill top, or the orange building which you will find out only after about a year later that it’s some kind of an office building for the police, go back to tracing the paper texture.

It is recommended that you take breaks as much as you need. This is good both for your eyes and your hands. But don’t forget to leave a white circular patch of the paper before starting the next session. And also don’t forget to work hard, but not too hard.


  1. Sometimes if you really want a break, but still want to continue tracing the texture, you can also listen to podcasts or comedy shows to catch up with the current political news.

You can tell yourself that this is ok because you’re only a beginner at this experiment. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah is highly recommended. And he’s half Swiss, not that that’s of any importance but in any case, it is funny in addition to being highly recommended. The Late Show with Steven Colbert is funny too. But it’s kind of the same amount of funny for double the time, so in the end, it’s less funny and actually, the Colbert Report used to be much funnier.


  1. If you do not like daily political comedies, you can listen to weekly ones or the classic stand-up comedies as well.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver does a more in-depth analysis of one issue per week in his once a week show. He’s funny with his British accent. Russell Peters is funny too with his Canadian-Indian accent which is exactly like a Canadian accent of a person from a non-French speaking part of Canada, which is almost indistinguishable from an American accent except for a few words like “out” and “about” and the high frequency with which they say “sorry”, apparently. He’s funny with his Canadian-Indian accent mimicking Indian, Chinese, Russian, Italian American and all sorts of accents and making all sorts of racist jokes.


  1. If their jokes start becoming less funny, you can look for other ways to entertain yourself.

This can happen if most of the jokes revolve around one same guy and they all start sounding the same. But in the end, funny or not, it’s always good to know what Trump said or did or tweeted. For example while pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving, which someone had ironically named Drumstick, Trump said that although he was known for overturning Obama’s executive orders, he would not do that to undo Obama’s pardon of the turkeys. He said, “I have been informed by the White House counsel’s office that Tater and Tot’s pardons cannot under any circumstances be revoked.” He was being funny, of course.


  1. Talking about birds, specifically in terms of hitting two birds with one stone, or as Chuck Norris would do, hitting two stones with one bird, you can listen to other things as well, something that might be more educational than political satire.

For example, you could listen to It’s supposed to be “a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.” Despite this grandios self-explanation of the show, it’s quite ok. You can listen to short stories on rhino hunting, brains, colors, etc. One story I remember is about the part of the brain called basal ganglia that apparently is quite basic and controls movements. In optogenetics experiments, they have taken a mouse, threaded an optical fibre right into the mouse brain and used laser to turn the basal ganglia on and off. It makes the mouse stop mid air in motion when it’s turned on or off, I forget which. Anyway, this is one of the things you can hear at


  1. Sometime later in the year, you will most probably start working on a new series called Tracing and Distraction Series, where you will mark your mind wanderings and distractions as well, those that are activated by the Default Mode Network.

Then you won’t be able to listen to anything while tracing because of the rules you decide to follow, one in particular which says – no listening while tracing. So make the best of the freedom you give yourself now while you can, before you change your rules. Because you will slowly realize that even though your hands are continuously tracing the paper texture, your concentration is continuously being disrupted by a constant stream of thoughts – the distractions or the default mode network of your brain or so they say in neuroscience language. Wikipedia says, “The default mode network is most commonly shown to be active when a person is not focused on the outside world and the brain is at wakeful rest, such as during daydreaming and mind-wandering. But it is also active when the individual is thinking about others, thinking about themselves, remembering the past, and planning for the future. The network activates „by default“ when a person is not involved in a task. Though the DMN was originally noticed to be deactivated in certain goal-oriented tasks and is sometimes referred to as the task-negative network, it can be active in other goal-oriented tasks such as social working memory or autobiographical tasks. The DMN has been shown to be negatively correlated with other networks in the brain such as attention networks.”


  1. It is important that you still train at least a few hours a day to trace the paper quietly.

This means no other aural distractions like music, podcasts or comedy shows.


  1. It is even more important that you do step 17 to reorient yourself at this point in time.

Because somewhere along the line, things started becoming muddy in your head and you need to have a clear sight on your priorities. Things are becoming confusing. Are you tracing the paper and listening to these other things on the side, or are you listening to these other things and tracing the paper on the side? Are you really taking a mini-break from a concentrated tracing exercise by listening to these other things while tracing, or are you just using the pretense of tracing the paper so as to not feel bad about listening to these other things? Because then you can pretend that at least you’re being productive while being entertained.


  1. Repeat steps 6 to 19 till you fill the entire page with that one inkpen.

After a month of working, if you still haven’t finished the work, hurry up a bit.


  1. Cut down on your shows and podcasts, and concentrate more on the work.

They say that the more time you devote to it, the better you get at working with less strained eyes, less tears, more speed and better concentration.


  1. Finally, write your own instructions on how you made your work.

Add your own recommendations and anecdotes, or use the one already provided.




Untitled 5

from Tracing Paper Series

black ink and masking fluid on paper


  1. Get a big white paper.

It can be bought from the 5th floor of Toni in Zurich by asking Pierre directly. He is super nice. I went for a cheap roll, 1 CHF/meter, one side rough and other side glossy. Use the rough surface.


  1. Cut the paper into 151cm by 150cm.


  1. Get a masking fluid.

Transparent, neutral and ammoniafree 50300 from Schmincke, made in Germany, bought in Zumstein in Zurich, is recommended. It’s not that cheap but definitely under 20 Francs for a 250ml bottle, as far as I recall and as long as that recollection is more or less accurate.


  1. The masking fluid protects the white of the paper.

You can also get it with a slight yellow or grey tint. The color doesn’t matter much because it will be removed later anyway, and so at first I considered getting a yellowish masking fluid. Because yellow is my favorite color. When I was young, I was in a Yellow Team for 10 years in school, competing against red, blue and green teams. I even became a vice captain of the yellow team during my second last year of school and then became a captain of the yellow team during my final year of school. Also, once, someone said that yellow is my lucky color. But in the end, I stayed with the transparent neutral one just to be on the safe side.


  1. Get a ruling pen.

It has an open ink slot between two adjustable moving jaws in addition to having a simple but confusing name.


  1. Set up the paper against a wall with good light.

The goal is to be able to see the surface texture of the paper well.


  1. Add a bit of water to the masking fluid so that it can be held just right, in between the metal jaws of the ruling pen.

Be careful that you don’t add too much water otherwise it will be difficult to peel it off from the paper later.


  1. Start from the top left corner of the paper.

Adjust the opening of your ruling pen to a small size about 0.2mm in width, dip the pen into the slightly diluted masking fluid and trace the texture of the paper as you see it. It’s easier if you follow the shadows of the lines that appear on the surface.


  1. Sometimes you might lose track of how much you have traced since you cannot see the transparent masking fluid.

At these moments you might regret not getting the slight yellow or grey tinted masking fluid. But that’s ok. If you tilt your head a little and change your angle of view, you might be able to catch the shiny surface of the masking fluid. It will get easier as you go.


  1. Some people might find you a bit weird, sitting in front of a seemingly empty paper for a month or so.

You can explain to those who are curious if you’d like. Or not.


  1. If these rules you give to yourself start feeling a bit too restrictive, you can think about my school days in Nepal, one that was full of unnecessary rules and regulations imposed solely in the name of discipline. It might help you feel better about these rules that aren’t imposed on you but you decided to choose for yourself.

For example, after grade 5, we had to start wearing grey pleated skirts because we had now grown up and could easily iron this complicated skirt by ourselves, at that age, everyday, for sure. But you find ways. If you don’t have time to iron your pleated skirts in the morning but your school is super strict about appearances and the height of your socks, the shininess of your black shoes and what not, you can just put your skirt neatly under your mattress at night while you sleep and it’ll be ironed off by morning. This technique doesn’t work for your pink shirt though. For this, you still need to use the traditional method of ironing. We also had to switch from pencils to fountain pens after Grade 5. Everything had to be written only in cursive. And they had to be written only with blue ink. Our notebooks had to be covered with brown papers. Only two types of browns were allowed. A dark one and a light one. And if you had long hair, you could not leave it, you had to tie it in two or if it fell on the longer end of the long hair, you had to braid it in two. Two was the rule unless you had a short hair, then you could put on one headband. Everyday in the morning assembly, we had to sing the national anthem, which actually is a different one now because Nepal is no longer a Constitutional Monarchy as it used to be. Now it’s a Federal Democratic Republic because the Crown Prince fell in love with a girl he couldn’t marry.


  1. The official story goes:

On June 1st 2001, during a royal family gathering, the Crown Prince angry, drunk and high, shot the King, Queen and other family members with SPAS 12, H&K MP5 submachine gun and an M16, because the King and Queen forbid his marriage to the girl he loved. Then the King’s brother became the new King who became more controlling and autocratic. So the people protested and monarchy was out and Republic was in.


  1. And then nothing changed.

Politics stayed as corrupt as it had been, or so they say. What changed was the national anthem. It isn’t the one that we used to sing everyday in our school assembly because back then, it was still the old one dedicated to the King.


  1. As you can tell, my school was kind of crazy with all these rules and regulations.

We literally had a crazy teacher. He had a rule that we had to oil our hair everyday. And so for a year, I put on stinky olive oil on my hair every morning. Now that I think back, I should’ve used a proper less greasy hair oil like my friends were doing. I blame my mom and dad for this. And the crazy teacher would make sure that we were obeying his rules by smelling our oily scalp. If we did not listen to him or did something to irritate him, he made us hop from one side of the room to the other with our fingers on our ears, while repeatedly saying, “I’m a donkey, I’m a donkey.” After a few hops, you realize that it’s actually quite difficult to multitask in this way, and it soon gets tiring to hop and say self-deprecating things at the same time.


  1. You can try it too if you don’t believe me.

It’s easy to do it anywhere but it’s better if no one’s around because even with very close friends, it’s funny to a certain extent and then just embarrassing after that. If you’re interested to read more about my childhood stories you can click here1.


  1. Going back to the tracing, and now feeling much better about the rules that you made for yourself, you should still remember to pace yourself and continue to give your eyes enough break.

It’s even more important now than ever to give your eyes a good rest because you might be straining them quite a bit, trying to catch the elusive shiny reflection radiating from the masking fluid.


  1. Sometimes if you want a break but still want to continue tracing the texture, you can listen to comedy shows to catch up with the current political news or to simply listen to something funny.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah is good, but you can also watch his other stand ups that have nothing to do with the Daily Show. He is half South African and he makes South African politics sound as crazy as American politics. But politics anywhere is pretty crazy I guess. Even in a country with a good looking liberal prime minister that some people like Jack Moore from the online GQ website likes to call the “feminist Ryan Gosling Post come to life.” I am talking about Justin Trudeau of Canada of course, who seems to capture everyone’s liberal hearts with his good looks, great PR and savvy social media usage. But despite his support for climate change, he still supported the controversial Keystone XL, despite seeming all for human rights and refugees, he permitted a $15billion military vehicles deal with Saudi Arabia to go through, a country that has one of the worst human rights records and has used military vehicles against its own Shia population. It might seem like I’m just jumping from one topic to another, but there is a common thread connecting all these people. Justin Trudeau, Trevor Noah and Ryan Gosling are all quite good looking. But in Trevor Noah’s case, although you don’t see him while tracing because you’re only supposed to be listening to him, because that’s the rule, it doesn’t hurt that he is good looking.


  1. After you’ve traced the entire surface, paint the whole surface with a black ink.

This should be done in one sitting. Gouache from Lascaux, 326 Black, Swiss made and 100% artist quality since 1963, is recommended. You will also want a broad brush to cover the entire surface quickly. At this point, you can practice your broad brush stokes on another paper just to experiment with different consistency of the ink and to get a feel for how the paper reacts to different levels of diluted ink and things like that.


  1. Wait for the ink to dry.


  1. Start removing the masking fluid.

You can try rubbing it off by hand, but you’ll soon realize that it’s not a good idea. The friction and the subsequent heat generated from rubbing your fingers against the paper is not so nice. So erasers are recommended. You will need a lot of them. The goal is to remove all the removable masking fluid. You might notice that some in the beginning were too diluted and cannot be removed properly. Or perhaps some were on the paper for too long. You might also notice that in some places, the black ink wash was too thickly applied that it coated the masking fluid a bit too much. That’s ok. Give it your best, and stop when you’ve finished removing all the masking fluid and the work is done.


  1. After a couple of months, you might notice some changes.

The supposedly transparent masking fluid at the top of the paper may be turning a bit yellow and a bit green. Because those are the ones that weren’t possible to remove completely since they were too diluted and got absorbed into the paper. If you carefully read the masking fluid bottle, it says – do not leave liquid frisket on the grounding for more than 2 days. You probably left it on for about 40 days which is probably about 38 days too many. But that is kind of how masking fluids are. So, that’s ok.


  1. Finally, write your own instructions on how you made your work.

Add your own recommendations and anecdotes, or use the one already provided.




Untitled 1

from Tracing Rotating Paper Series

0.2mm black inkpen on paper


  1. Get a big white paper.

It can be bought from the 5th floor of Toni, by asking Pierre directly. He is super nice. I went for a cheap roll, 1 CHF/meter, one side rough and other side glossy. Use the rough surface.



  • Cut the paper into 100 by 100cm.



  1. Get a nice sized inkpen.

0.2mm black inkpen, archival quality, water and fade proof, PIN 02-200 BLACK from Unipin, Mitsubishi Co.Ltd, made in Vietnam, bought from the ITZ store in Toni, Zurich, is a safe option. After having experimented with 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.8mm inkpens, you realize that 0.2mm is quite nice – neither too thick nor too thin. You can choose whichever size you think is nice.


  1. Ask Tobi to build a rotating structure on your wall with good light so that you can spin it whenever you want.

Because maybe who knows, that was what made all the previous works boring, that lack of spinning not involved in the drawing process. It is recommended that you accompany Tobi to buy wheels, screws, washers, and many other things necessary to build this structure. Jumbo, especially the bigger ones in Zurich should have what Tobi is looking for in order to help build this structure for me.


  1. Once Tobi has successfully mounted the structure on the wall with good light, place the 100cm by 100cm paper you cut in Step 2.

Use masking tape to secure the paper onto the board.


  1. Start from the center of the paper.

Trace the texture of the paper as you see it. It’s easier if you follow the shadows of the lines that appear on the surface. If you notice some creases on the paper, do not forget to trace those creases as well.


  1. If you need to take a break, take it.

The work is not about torturing yourself. Remember to work hard but not too hard.


  1. After every break spin the paper until it comes to a stop.

This position determines your next starting point which will be somewhere close to your eye level and growing outwards from the center of the paper.


  1. You might start noticing a few things more clearly while doing this tracing exercise on a rotating board.

For example, the paper that you thought had an inherent texture doesn’t actually have it so much because your traced lines are all turning in different directions. Some are vertical, some horizontal, and some are anywhere in between the vertical and the horizontal. It mostly depends on the lighting conditions, direction of your light source and your eye position in relation to the part of the paper that you are looking at.


  1. You could say that every marked line is a reflection of the moment in which the paper exists in a particular surrounding as executed by a subjective gaze that exists in a particular relation to that line within the same surrounding.

This almost sounds like it could work as an analogy with the tiny quantum world in which one can never be a detached observer, but is always a participating observer. In this quantum world, one cannot say what is going on in a system when no one is looking because its character is determined only after the act of looking. Personally, I am not concerned with the nature of reality and couldn’t care less about how things actually are or aren’t but I find all these discoveries quite fascinating.


  1. If you remember, we started discussing the very basics of quantum mechanics while working on Untitled 1 from Tracings of a Day. If you missed it, which you probably did because the work is not on display here in Guck mal günther, Kunst!, you can read it here2.

Let’s go back to the example of Lindsey Harr where it all began and try to understand a little bit more in detail about quantum mechanics. She wrote, “We have discovered the two truths of Venice, but in his wanderings, he entered San Marco from the North, I from the South, so that in our memories, we look across the same campo with a different gaze. For him, San Giorgio Maggiore is on the left; for me, it is forever on my right.” We are still sticking with this for the time being because at some point in my life, I really liked these words.


  1. You might realize that it can’t be much of an analogy of quantum mechanics as the first time you thought it would be because you didn’t know any better.

But maybe as a broader picture it can still work. Let’s see and try to understand it in our own way. So, everything’s about perspectives, left or right. You might now ask, what about cardinal directions like east, west, north, south? If something faces east, this direction does not change regardless of your viewing position. Quantum mechanics questions precisely this assumption and asks whether these determinate positions even exist for an object in the tiny world of atoms and subatomic particles before the object is measured or observed. Or rather it says that it exists in many places and is constantly moving around before being observed. The quantum world is super weird because of this very theory of superposition, which says that before being observed, a particle can be in a superposition of many places and moving at many speeds. By measuring it, you get one random position and speed which is supposedly quite a meaningless information.


  1. I am still trying to make myself understand while writing all this at the same time, so let’s do an imagination exercise together.

Let’s imagine San Giorgio Maggiore to be a giant electron, floating in the waters of Venice. But since its an electron, it is not rooted to the place but is constantly in motion. So maybe San Giorgio Maggiore is floating on a raft or something or just riding the waves somehow and it is constantly moving around being pushed by the currents and the wind. Now, you want to find out where it is at a particular moment in time. It could actually show up at any part of the ocean. You could find it next to the Statue of Liberty in New York one day or by the coasts of Sri Lanka the other day. Apparently this is exactly how electrons and other particles behave, like as if they are riding the waves which makes it possible to find them in places that are not intuitively possible if you think of them merely as solid objects. What this means is that everything in the universe behaves both like a particle and a wave at the same time.


  1. It gets a bit weirder now because apparently this imagination exercise is already wrong for the tiny world of quantum mechanics.

This assumes that there is one position and one speed for San Giorgio Maggiore which is not what quantum mechanics says at all. Remember, we just mentioned that every thing in this universe behaves not just like a particle but also a wave at the same time? So, the above imagination exercise would partly support the definition of a particle because a particle has a fixed position in space at any given time. On the other hand, waves are more like disturbances spread out in space and so it has the probability of existing in lots of different places and cannot be assigned a single position nor does it have one single momentum. So, by trying to find out where it is, you get one random place, like next to the Cayman Islands for example, but that means nothing because it’s no longer doing what it was doing before, which was basically being in many different places at the same time.


  1. It gets weirder still.

It’s this fascinating fact that the act of observation or measurement actually changes the state of the thing being observed.


  1. It gets even more weird.

This another weird thing is that looking at one aspect prevents you from being able to look at another aspect of the same thing. In quantum mechanics, this is called Complementarity. Wave-particle duality (the fact that everything is both a wave and a particle) is an example of complementarity because apparently if you look for wave like behavior you cannot at the same time look for its particle property and if you look for its particle property, you cannot at the same time look for its wave like behavior. You can bring this topic up seamlessly while working on your next work, Untitled 2  from Tracing Rotating Paper Series because there, you will be talking about complementary colors as you will be using them to trace the paper.


  1. You will most probably be using green and red, but it could be any other pairs of complementary colors too.

I went for red and green 0.3mm ink pens. Edding 1800, profipen 0.3, made in Japan, bought in Zumstein, Zurich. You will most likely come up with additional rules as well.


  1. I often wonder how it would look to someone with red and green color blindness.

Apparently it’s the most common form of color blindness and more prevalent in men than in woman. says that “there is general agreement that worldwide 8% of men and 0.5% of women have a color vision deficiency.” I am confused by this term “general agreement” when it’s used for statistics, especially when very precise numbers like 8 and 0.5 are used. But in any case, apparently there are three types of color blindness because we have three cones (red, blue and green) in our eyes and when one of the cones is a bit faulty, color blindness occurs.


  1. I actually know a friend who says that he has red-green color blindness and is left handed.

I showed him my work but he could clearly differentiate both red and green. I guess it depends on the specific shades of red and green for it to have appeared all green or all red or all grey to him. The website mentioned above says that they usually confuse mid reds and mid greens. I don’t know what that means. What is a mid red?  What is a mid green? It would have been cool if it had worked on him though. But that’s not why you chose to use complementary colors, so it doesn’t matter in the end.


  1. And just like complementary colors,  quantum reality manifests itself in complementary ways too.

The two “complementary” used in the previous sentence have quite different meanings and the sentence itself makes no sense if you really read it. Perhaps it should’ve been more like: “Speaking of complementary colors, apparently quantum reality manifests itself in complementary ways too”, or something like that. The quantum reality is a contextualized reality that very much depends on the measurement context. It appears one way or the other depending on what we ask, how we ask and whether we make measurements or observations or not. In the simple words of Peter beim Graben and Harald Atmanspacher in “Philosophical Significance of Complementarity” – “two descriptions of a situation are complementary if they exclude each other and yet are both necessary for an exhaustive description of that situation.”


  1. The user “Cracking the Nutshell” put it really eloquently in her youtube video titled “Where Does the Uncertainty Principle Come From? Wave-Particle Duality, Wave Packets & Indeterminacy”.

She says, “quantum mechanics is a mathematical model which predicts the way the world manifests as we make observations, a theory not predictive of events but predictive of observations….At the heart of complementarity is the idea that all properties of physical entities exist in pairs and that – upon measurement – what we physically observe is defined by the manifestation of such properties, properties which are limited by trade-offs between these complementary pairs.” She reiterates Heisenberg’s thought on quantum world that apparently went something like – the world of possibility should not be confused with that of actuality.


  1. Maybe you’ve had enough of complementarity.

But we’ve only been discussing what it means and not really the actual description of how it is the way it is. So for those who want to get more technical and understand it more in a science way of understanding, you can read more about it here5.


  1. To summarize all our findings, let’s force our way back to the example of Lindsey Harr for the very last time.

I guess, we could say that quantum mechanics is not about the northness or southness of an object, because it is in north and south at the same time. The moment you try to see it, you get a perspective of its one position of leftness or rightness which is a pretty random observation anyway. And all this is because everything in the universe that exists, behaves both like a particle and a wave at the same time. If Lindsey Harr could rewrite her own sentence to reflect my beginner’s understanding of quantum mechanics, maybe it could go something like, “We have discovered the three truths of Venice: but in his wanderings, he entered San Marco from the North, I from the South, Quantum from the East, so that in our memories, we look across the same campo with a different gaze. For him, San Giorgio Maggiore is on the left; for me, it is forever on my right; and for Quantum, it used to be everywhere, left and right at the same time, and floating around at different speeds, until we came and looked at it and ruined its superposition.”


  1. All these findings of quantum mechanics are quite mind boggling.

How can small things that make up everything in the universe be so different from our everyday experiences of things and events? If you try to understand it rationally, it doesn’t make sense. You also realize how naïve you were back then when you made an analogy with it so innocently with nothing but a superficial understanding. Trying to understand it better makes your head spin.


  1. Talking about spinning, you should still be spinning your paper after every break that you take from tracing the paper texture.

Let it determine your starting point every time you resume your work after a break. Continue this till your pen runs out of ink or to put it more accurately, till your nib all but disappears. Because sometimes, even if you feel like the pen is running out of ink it’s not really the case. Usually there is enough ink left in your pen and it’s just that the nib gets shaved off due to friction and transmits less ink. If you rotate the pen and find another angle for your nib, ink flows out again.


  1. The end of the pen is, from most of my experiences, not the end of the ink but the end of the nib.

When this happens, stop working because your work is done.


  1. It could be even more done, if you write down your own instructions on how you made your work.

Add your own recommendations and anecdotes, or use the one already provided.





Untitled 2

from Tracing and Distraction Series

0.2mm black ink, 1.5-3mm invisible UV marker and yellow fluorescent marker on paper


  1. Divide the work into two parts.

This should be done in your head right now because you’re not dividing the work in any physical way at the moment.


  1. Part 1.

The first part can be viewed under normal light conditions which includes natural light or the artificial light we use at night.


  1. Get a big white paper.

It can be given to you by Clio or anyone else who has a big drawing paper that they do not need.



  • Cut it into 154cm x 154.5cm



  1. Choose a nice sized inkpen.

0.2mm black inkpen. Archival quality, water and fade proof, PIN 02-200 BLACK from Unipin, Mitsubishi Co.Ltd, made in Vietnam, bought from the ITZ store in Toni, Zurich, is a safe and nice option.


  1. Set up the paper against a wall with good light and start tracing the paper texture from the top left corner pf the paper.

It’s easier if you follow the shadows of the lines that appear on the surface.


  1. When you notice that your mind is drifting away, immediately stop tracing the texture.

Your attention will have moved from the paper and the act of tracing it to thinking about whatever else. Actually, this will happen quite often and apparently it’s just how our minds work. These stream of thoughts are the workings of the default mode network of our brains.

Wikipedia says, “The default mode network is most commonly shown to be active when a person is not focused on the outside world and the brain is at wakeful rest, such as during daydreaming and mind-wandering. But it is also active when the individual is thinking about others, thinking about themselves, remembering the past, and planning for the future. The network activates „by default“ when a person is not involved in a task. Though the DMN was originally noticed to be deactivated in certain goal-oriented tasks and is sometimes referred to as the task-negative network, it can be active in other goal-oriented tasks such as social working memory or autobiographical tasks. The DMN has been shown to be negatively correlated with other networks in the brain such as attention networks.”


  1. Close your eyes.

Then slide the pen vertically down till you hit the bottom edge of the paper.


  1. Open your eyes.

Go back to where you left, and continue tracing.


  1. If you hit an area with the vertical line, leave some space around it.

It is recommended that you leave about 0.2mm on either side of the line.


  1. Repeat steps 6 to 11 until you fill the entire surface.

Depending on the surface of your paper, how rough or smooth it is, and how much ink it absorbs, you might need more or less than 4 pens to cover the surface.


  1. Part 2.

The second part can be viewed under normal light conditions if you are a sparrow, butterfly or a mantis shrimp that have more than 3 light receptors and can see the ultraviolet light naturally. This is one of the things you learnt while listening to the episode “Colors” on Basically in that episode it says that dogs have 2 light receptors or cones which are blue and green sensitive; humans have 3 which are blue, green and red sensitive and which also means we see way more colors than dogs do when we look at the rainbow because one extra means many extra because of the multiplicative character of the cones; crows are like humans; sparrows have UV vision and a much more sensitive red receptor so their rainbows start earlier and end later than ours; butterflies have 5 to 6 kinds of color receptors depending on the species; and finally, the mantis shrimp has 16 kinds of receptors. When they see a rainbow, which apparently they can since they live in clear shallow waters, their rainbow looks exactly like something we cannot imagine in colors with a sprinkle of some that we can. But if you’re like me and have only three, namely blue, green and red cones in your eyes, then you need some UV light source to see this work.


  1. Get a black UV fluorescent light.

It can be bought from Conrad in Dietikon – a small one of 30 Watts isn’t strong enough but still functional. Later, you can switch to a big spotlight. But actually it’s quite expensive to buy so if you’re a student like me, you can borrow it from Ausleihe in Toni. It’s not on their website though. You need to inquire directly. One of them with a beard is quite friendly. But maybe they all are.


  1. Get an invisible UV marker.

I recommend Edding 8280 Securitas UV marker with Bullet nib, and a stroke width of approximately 1.5 to 3mm. It can be bought from Zumstein, Zurich. To be honest, I would’ve preferred a smaller stroke width size, like 0.2mm because I think it’s much nicer but I couldn’t find it.


  1. Find a relatively dark space to work in.

The work progresses much faster this way.


  1. If you feel a bit nauseous working long hours with this purplish light in a tiny room you managed to find somewhere on the 3rd floor of Toni in Zurich, don’t worry.

It’ll get better once you get used to it.


  1. If you start to have suspicious health and safety concerns, don’t worry either.

Just check out which apparently has everything you need to know about black light. It says, “The term black light refers to a specific kind of lamp—typically fluorescent, with a special phosphorescent coating that emits UV radiation in the UVA range. UVA rays are the longest-wavelength, lowest-energy kind of UV radiation and the kind that is least harmful. It is the UVB and UVC rays in sunlight that cause the most damage, prolonged exposure to which can lead to sunburn and skin cancer.”


  1. You can double check with Wikipedia too.

It mostly agrees but adds that although UVA is the safest, “high exposure to UVA has been linked to the development of skin cancer in humans”. Apparently it can damage collagen fibers, accelerate skin aging, cause wrinkles and destroy vitamin A in the skin. So there is nothing to worry about. Unless you plan to get “highly exposed” to UV A. .


  1. For some reason, if you’re still concerned, put some gloves on.

I used one on my right hand that was directly exposed to the UV light. Because at some point, I started getting really dry skin. It could’ve been psychological after reading Wikipedia, but the gloves helped. Highly recommended for those with sensitive skin. In fact, I do have sensitive skin. When I was born, doctors diagnosed me with having an atopic skin condition. In the two years that I’ve lived in Zurich, I’ve already been to the dermatologist twice.


  1. Now you can choose a system to make an arbitrary analysis of your work.

This will be just one of many possible versions that you’ll be experimenting with, so don’t worry too much. You have to start somewhere. And if it fails it fails, although I am not sure what the criteria would be for failure or success in this case. It’s also how things are in the quantum world where its a world of possibilities out there. And observing it or manifesting it in one way, collapses its state to become just one of the many.


  1. In truth, you’ll probably just work on 4 variations using black light anyway.

You’ll realize that there are other ways you can engage with the work. In addition, you might be absolutely certain now that it wasn’t psychological when your skin got dry earlier. For instance, if you happen to install this work in Galerie 2 in Toni as part of a show that Dominique has organized and after three hours of installing the UV light, your hands get a clear tan line, which turns into rashes the next day and then to a very dry skin the next. It’s an ultraviolet catastrophe.


  1. Ultraviolet catastrophe, a very dramatic name, was also given to a failure in common sense that led to the discoveries in quantum mechanics.

Basically experiments started to show that light was not just a wave but a particle. And one of those that helped in this discovery was this Ultraviolet Catastrophe. Jim explains it quite well in his BBC Four documentary on “The Secrets of Quantum Physics”. To find out more about his explanation, you can read it here6.


  1. Let’s just stay here with the much easier to understand ultraviolet catastrophe related to black UV light and its relationship with my skin.

At this point, don’t worry too much about your rashes. Just use the black light because you need to finish what you started.


  1. Use an invisible white UV paint to mark the beginnings of all the vertical lines.

I shall refer to them as seeds. The seeds mark the beginning or the moment of realization of the stream of thoughts unrelated to the thing in front you – the default mode network of your brain.


  1. After marking all the seeds find out the center of the paper and mark the seed closest to that center as the central seed.


  1. Write down the Fibonacci sequence on a piece of paper that you will use for reference.

It should look something like this in which the next number is the sum of two numbers before it.

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987 ….


  1. Follow the idea of leaf arrangements in most plants.

One estimate is that 90 percent of all plants exhibit this pattern of leaves involving the Fibonacci numbers. The Fibonacci numbers occur when counting both the number of times we go around the stem, going from leaf to leaf, as well as counting the leaves we meet until we encounter a leaf directly above the starting one. The picture below, which is based on the one from will make it clear.


  1. Prepare necessary tools.

One is a string marked with intervals of 0.25mm, 0.5mm, 0.75mm and so on in such a way that it follows the ratio of successive fibonacci numbers, also called the golden ratio. The ratio seems to be settling down to a particular value, which is called the golden ratio or the golden number. It has a value of approximately 1·618034.


  1. Prepare an angle of 137.5° , which is the golden angle.

I used a tracing paper, and cut it in the size of 137.5°. Look at the picture below to understand this better. It’s based on the picture from wikipedia under the article for “Golden Angle”.


  1. Connect central seed with the closest seed.

Mark it as X, in your head.


  1. From there calculate an angle of 137.5°.

Draw an imaginary line with a ruler from the central seed to this new angle. You could place markers, like thin sticky notes to mark the new line so as to not get lost in confusion. This is highly recommended if you want to make your process work smoothly.


  1. If any one of the seeds on the paper fall directly onto the line of the new angle, draw circular dots around the seed.

The radius of the circle around the seed is also incremental following the fibonacci ratio. If a line does not pass through any seed on the surface of the paper, mark its absence by a dot at a certain predetermined distance from the central seed. Refer to the table below for clarity.


Seed no. Radius of the circle around the seed (cm) Distance from the Central seed  if seed is missing


X Central Seed

(so radius is N/A)

Central Seed

(so radius is N/A)

1 0.25 2
2 0.5 3
3-4 0.75 4
5-7 1.25 5
8-12 2 6
13-20 3.25 7
21-33 5.25 8
34-54 8.5 9
55-88 13.75 10
89-143 22.25 11
144-232 36 12


  1. Continue marking new angles of 137.5° from the previous seed, finding a corresponding seed in that new line of angle, drawing dots of certain radius around it and if missing a seed, then marking a small dot at a certain distance from the central seed.


  1. Get a fluorescent yellow marker.

Any kind will do. Circle the seeds yellow to keep track of the surface covered by the circles. You could do this step at the very end, but it is easy to get lost and so it is recommended to mark them as you go along.


  1. Do not circle any seeds whose circle is entirely overlapped by previous circles above. Only those seeds whose corresponding circles cover an uncovered surface of the paper need to be marked.



  • The work is done when the entire surface has been covered by the circles.



  1. If at any point of the work, you realize you’ve made a mistake, stop working immediately.

Even if you are in the middle of the mistake, stop working. You don’t have to complete your mistake.


  1. Take a yellow fluorescent marker and highlight your mistake.

If you’d like, you can choose any other visible fluorescent color as well. I chose yellow because it is my favorite color. When I was young, I was in a Yellow Team for 10 years in school, competing against red, blue and green teams. Also, once, someone said that yellow is my lucky color.


  1. Finally, write your own instructions on how you made your work.

Add your own recommendations and anecdotes, or use the one already provided.

Lucas Herzig

Vorremmo sederci.

(Wir würden uns gerne setzen), Papier, Gips, Kleister, Tonstaub, Aluminium, weitere Materialien, 2018

„Wir würden uns gerne setzen“ ist eine Serie von Skulpturen aus Pappmaché, die mit Tonstaub bedeckt sind. Sie sind produziert worden, ohne einen Ort zu haben, dem sie sich zugehörig fühlen. Sie versuchen sich anzupassen, indem sie ihre Umgebung durch sich scheinen lassen. Trotzdem tragen sie in ihrer Gestalt eine Geschichte in sich. Sie würden sich gerne setzen.

Lucas Herzig wurde 1988 in Zürich geboren.

Livio Baumgartner

Human Nature, 2017

«Human Nature» ist eine Fotoserie sogenannter «Hostile-Architecture». Defensive Architektur – auch feindliche Architektur genannt – ist eine Form der Gestaltung öffentlicher Gebäude, Räume oder Objekte, die eine bestimmte Nutzung verhindern soll. Skateboardfahrer, Obdachlose oder sonst ruhesuchende Personen sollen daran gehindert werden, sich die Objekte anzueignen. Oft wird dies mit Hilfe von Natursteinen erreicht. Die Natur wird so als Verteidigung der künstlich errichteten Bauten genutzt. Ein Handwerker verdingt sich zum Erbauer einer asozialen Skulptur.


Livio Baumgartner studierte Fotografie und Bildende Kunst in Zürich und Bern. Während in seinen Fotogramm-Arbeiten die klassischen Bildelemente von Linie und Raum zu einer neuen Interpretation finden, wird in den installativen und konzeptuellen Arbeiten der Frage nachgegangen, wann und wie ein Werk zur Kunst wird. Die subtile Ironie hinter diesen Kunstprojekten überführt den oft banalen und alltäglichen Gegenstand in einen ästhetischen Kontext.


Livio Baumgartner wurde Günther durch den Kunstraum Aarau empfohlen.


Text u.a. von Sara Izzo

Katharina Kemmerling & Aline Stalder

Fünf Gipfel trifft Kumulus, 2018

Stell dir vor, du hättest lediglich 1000 abgezählte Handgriffe zur Verfügung, um einen Tonklotz zu verformen. Ist es möglich, unter derart einschränkenden Bedingungen Kunst zu schaffen?

Die Künstlerinnen Aline Stalder und Katharina Kemmerling nehmen an Günthers Vernissage vom 13. September das Konzept ihrer letzjährigen performativen Arbeit „Fünf Gipfel trifft Kumulus“ wieder auf.  Abwechselnd gestalten sie eine 50 Kilogramm schwere Tonmasse, wobei ein nonverbaler Austausch über das Medium der sich stetig wandelnden Form stattfindet. Das Ergebnis dieses regulierten Schaffensprozesses findet ihr hier ausgestellt.


Aline Stalder