Veronika Spierenburg: «Between Handle and Blade»

Opening: Sunday, May 5, 2013, 2–6 pm
3 pm: Introduction by Winfried Heininger, Kodoji Press

May 05, 2013 to June 23, 2013

The artist Veronika Spierenburg (born in 1981, lives in Zurich) has regularly been visiting the Art Library in the Sitterwerk for the day since 2010. She often works in a site-specific manner, as she also did in the Sitterwerk, where she became the «collector of the collection». Individual pages of books from the Art Library, of which she has recorded a total of some 30,000, are her personal inventory. Then she reduced in collaboration with the Graphic Designer Simone Koller  this selection further to a specific compilation, which is now—simultaneous to the exhibition—being published as an artist’s book: «In Order of Pages», Kodoji Press, Baden.

The exhibition «Between Handle and Blade» consists of individual interventions that examine the book as subject matter or refer to it in a broader sense. The focal point of the exhibition will be a three-meter-tall reading wheel made of metal. This object thus makes reference to the engineer Agostino Ramelli (1531–1600). Ramelli drew the plan for a mechanical reading aid around 1588, which was published along with 194 construction drawings in the book «Le diverse et artificiose machine» and is today considered to be a classic on the engineering of the sixteenth century. In the exhibition, the parallel reading and looking at individual book pages by means of the reading wheel becomes a direct reference to the publication by Veronika Spierenburg. For the opening, the artist will specify a selection of books for the reading wheel, and visitors can then decide during the duration of the exhibition which books are present in the reading wheel. The intention is to record the compilations as well as the «course» of individual books and present them on the Sitterwerk Web page. In addition, it will also be possible to see the video work «From Top to Bottom», which Veronika Spierenburg realized in a library (Real Gabinete Português de Leitura in Rio de Janeiro) in Brazil in 2012. Also situated in the exhibition is a Tsuba: this is the guard for Japanese swords and is found between the grip and the blade. Veronika Spierenburg discovered a picture of a Tsuba in a book in the Art Library and, inspired by it, had her own Tsuba cast in the neighboring art foundry, which now serves as a subtle hint to the exhibition title as well as in turn to the publication.

At the beginning of 2013, Veronika Spierenburg was awarded the Manor Art Prize in combination with a solo exhibition at the Aargauer Kunsthaus Aarau (January 25 to April 20, 2014). She studied at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel, at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, and at Central Saint Martins College  of Art and Design in London.

The exhibition project is supported by: Dr. Georg und Josi Guggenheim Stiftung, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, STEO Stiftung.

webpage Veronika Spierenburg

webpage Kodoji Press