Ilona Ruegg at the Sitterwerk

January 22, 2019 Event date: 17.30

The large studio window provides a view of the winter landscape of the Sitter River, of tree branches, bushes, stone formations, and moss — a landscape as if out of a Japanese woodcut. Inside the heated studio are a large table, books, stone paper, templates, spray cans, finished and commenced ink drawings, small cardboard models, large fragments of wood, and aluminum castings. Only a handwritten quote is pinned to the wall — «The stone wants to get back to the slingshot» by Jochen Gerz, 1978 — and arouses the curiosity of the visitor with the fascination of a haiku. Here, the ideas, observations, and experiments with materials and concepts that occupy Ilona Ruegg seem to be concentrated. The Sitterwerk invited her to use the guest studio and its wintry seclusion as a starting point and place of retreat. 

Ilona Ruegg (*1949) works with everyday objects that she distances from their original function and context and gives new significance by means of minimal material and local interventions. She also played through such shifts in meaning in the perception of viewers in the work that she intensively pursued in the guest studio in the Sitterwerk and the workshops of the Kunstgiesserei between the end of November 2018 and the end of January 2019. The starting point was the earlier work SCHONZEIT, in which she made a raised hunting stand «invisible» with a layer of camouflage (antiradar coating) and transplanted it to a sculpture park. The fragments of the dismantled sculpture then formed the basis for the continuation of this process of transformation. Under the work title «Erlkönig» (Erl-King), she partially clad the components with cardboard as a reference to the camouflage technique that is used to conceal new designs when road-testing cars. As camouflage for camouflage, the artist then cast the fragments of cardboard in aluminum using the direct burn out technique. In this new context, all the components forfeit their original function and obtain a new materiality — a formal and conceptual examination of making-visible and concealing.

On January 22, 2019, Ilona Ruegg will open the doors to her studio in the Sitterwerk. Her working method, the creation of her works, and perspectives that she is taking with her from her stay in the Sitterwerk will be discussed in a conversation with the artist.

Sitterwerk Studio House, January 22, 2019, aperitifs and open studio starting at 5:30 p.m., conversation between Ilona Ruegg and Patricia Hartmann at 6:30 p.m.