Michelle Grob — Guest Artist in the Sitterwerk

April to June 2009 – Sugar-starched object-contours 

For her current artistic work, Michelle Grob is using quite traditional handcraft and household techniques and with them explores everyday images and the most common of everyday objects. The works that result are however in the end strangely alienated objects of art: crocheted tools - soft as fleecy pillows - reject use of any kind. Shoes, glasses, framed souvenir pictures - old clothes molded using sugar-starched water - which can neither be worn nor used as drinking vessels - and the photographs show at best textile structures instead of memories in their frames. Exactly like the pornographic photos that - crocheted «virtuously» with yarn - are hardly still vaguely recognizable as sex scenes because the textile of these image-objects veils every obscene detail.

After studio stipends in Holland, Rome and Finland, Michelle Grob is working as guest artist in the Sitterwerk for 2 1/2 months from April to June, 2009. Here she wants to explore the technique of molding everyday objects from recycled textiles and sugar-water in larger dimensions. Not far from the Sitterwerk, a small house near the St.Gallen-Bruggen train station underwent an unusual process under her hands. The inhabitants of the district were quite naturally integrated into this art action in that they were asked to give the artist clothes that they no longer wanted to wear instead of putting them into the recycling container, so that she could plaster them onto the house.

What of this second skin will in the end allow itself to be detached and transferred into the project studio and reconstructed as a contour of the house - and perhaps furnished with art-objects - remains to be seen. Michelle Grob works in a process-oriented manner and in doing so allows herself to be guided by the surprises that arise through coincidences. The recognition of what can be utilized or pursued is also, therefore, an integral aspect of her artistic work.

In reality, soon little more will remain of this action than images, memories and the insights that observers of this transient work, and naturally also what the artist herself, have gained from it. She has now altered her original goal of transferring the contours of this house into an interior space as an art-object due to artistic as well as pragmatic considerations. With part of the sugar-starched walls of clothes, she has reconstructed a smaller house in the studio, for which she wants to prepare a spectacular finale on the evening of the open studios.

Her remaining few weeks of time in the Sitterwerk are now available to pursue other projects further. On the evening of the open studios in the Sitterwerk, she will also provide insight into them.

Open studios of Michelle Grob, Katja Schenker and Katalin Deér
June 18, 2009, starting at 5pm

Michelle Grob - Biography

* 1980, lives and works more or less in Lucerne
   2001-06, Diploma study of art and mediation at the Lucerne University of Applied Arts and Sciences (HSLU) Design & Art

Solo Exhibitions
2007      «retro», Kunstraum Sandra Romer, Chur, CH
               «Werkstoff/Kleidung/Weiss», Raum für Kunst Sic!, Lucerne
               «cirka virka», Pro Artibus Residence Gallery, Ekenäs, FIN
2006      «Pillover», De Fabriek, Rotterdam, NL
                Matahari, Kunstpanorama, Lucerne, CH
2004      «Woolgathering», Kulturcafé AfterEight, Jakobstad, FIN

Group Exhibitions
2009      «Niki & Friends» Echo Magique, Chur-Kultur,
                    Kunstraum Sandra Romer, Chur
              «Aroma die Roma», Kulturraum St.Gallen, CH
               «INTHEBOX», Visarte Schweiz, Halle USEGO, Sierre (VS), CH
2008      «Unpredictable», Sala Elvetica Instituto Svizzero, Rome, I
              «tricky», Galerie Elisabeth Staffelbach, Aarau, CH
               «Kopfstand», Galerie Widmer & Theodoridis, Zurich, CH
               «Show Down», Projektraum exex, St.Gallen, CH
               «Ausgezeichnet», work stipend exhibition, Kulturraum,
2007      «Mixed Pickels 3», K3 Xmas show, Project Space K3, Zurich
               «Weihnachtsausstellung», Milieu-Galerie, Bern, CH
               «Jungkunst», Winterthur, CH
               «Zwielicht», diskursfestival07, Giessen, D
               «Motel», condemned building of a former auto company,
                    St.Gallen, teamwork with Timo Müller
               Installations, KunstTour, ArtSpace Het Rondeel, Maastricht
               «Luzerner Frühling», Kunstpanorama, Lucerne, CH
               «the day after», object still-lifes, Galleria Elverket, ArtFair,
                    Stockholm, S
2006      «ScreenSavers», performance with Nora de Baan, De Fabriek,
                   Rotterdam, NL
2005     «Matka/Resa/Journey», Galleria Elverket, Ekenäs, FIN

Prizes, Studio Stipends, Public Art
2011      Studio stipend, Chicago, 4 months, city partnership
                  association Lucerne-Chicago
2009      Studio stipend, Instituto Svizzero, 1 year, Rome, I
                Studio stipend, Sitterwerk Foundation, 2 1/2 months
2008      Studio stipend Rome, 3 months, Canton of St.Gallen,
                    Project idea: «Souvenir»
2007      Work stipend from the Canton of St.Gallen for the project idea
2007      Studio stipend from the ProArtibus Foundation, 3 months,
                    Ekenäs, FIN
2006      SquatResidency, 2 months, Rotterdam, Holland, NL
2005      1st prize, mural «Reflektionsraster», in the old city of Lucerne
                    Realization: 2005, teamwork with Muriel Stern
2004      1st prize, color concept for the Spital Lachen (SZ), CH
                    Realization: 2004, teamwork with Ueli Kauffmann

Additional Activities
2005     Establishment and management of the KunstKiosk association,
                    Lucerne, CH, teamwork with Nadine Wietlisbach, et al
2005     Participation in the GARBa artists workshop, Montescaglioso,
2004     Workshop «künstlerische Entwicklungshilfe», Estonia