Virginia Ariu | Peter Fischli | Lisa Hoever | Fabian Marti | Annina Matter | Ivan Mitrovic | Emanuel Rossetti
15 January to 20 December 2024, Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. (or by appointment)
Opening: 13 and 14 January 2024, 11 am - 5 pm ("Berner Galerienwochenende")
Idea and concept: Reto Sorg and Urs Zahn
Teo Jakob AG
Art is neither decoration nor a mere commodity, it is raison d'être, nourishment, generates steam, brings us to boiling point and distils ideas.
Bureau Bollito presents its work in the offices of the Robert Walser Centre. For those of us working here, the relationship between literature, visual arts and office work is central. To expose the tension between 'free' art and regulated office work, we have already shown the works of Markus Zürcher, Robert Frank, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jürg Halter, Pamela Rosenkranz and Thomas Schütte, among others—Simone Fattal and Lika Nüssli will follow in 2025.
For the writer Robert Walser (1878-1956), the visual arts are of key importance. Not only does he grow up as the younger brother of the painter Karl Walser, whose 'sense of sight' characterises him artistically, but he also writes repeatedly about works of art and about painting. Robert Walser was also one of the first writers to make the daily life, the mundane and the ordinary the subject of literature and to write about bureaus and office workers. He knows this world from his own experience, as he completed a three-year apprenticeship as a commercial clerk at the Biel branch of the Berner Kantonalbank and regularly worked as a 'Commis' on a temporary basis until he decided to become a writer. Robert Walser repeatedly wrote about his experiences as an office worker - not only in the novel The Assistant, but also in short stories that are now read all over the world.
There has also been a growing interest in Robert Walser within the field of visual arts since the 1960s. Artists' engagement with Walser has so far led to two important exhibitions in which the Robert Walser Centre has played a key role: the exhibition series In the Spirit of Robert Walser at the Donald Young Gallery in Chicago and the exhibition Ohne Achtsamkeit beachte ich alles at the Kunsthaus Aarau. In addition, the Centre has repeatedly hosted exhibitions in its own rooms, for example by Robert Frank, Pamela Rosenkranz, Thomas Hirschhorn, Thomas Schütte and Yves Netzhammer; exhibitions with Simone Fattal and Lika Nüssli are in preparation.
Bureau Bollito is continuing this tradition by inviting seven artists to exhibit in the offices of the Robert Walser Centre in Bern. The works are not being placed in a museum, commercial or private context, but in a working context.
Bureau Bollito maintains satellite exhibitions with Bernese partners, which can also be visited: BEKB, Itten+Brechbühl AG, Schweizerische Post and Teo Jakob AG.
Reading tip: Robert Walser: Im Bureau. Aus dem Leben der Angestellten. Hg. von Reto Sorg und Lucas Marco Gisi. Berlin: Insel Taschenbuch 2013.
With the friendly support of BEKB, Itten+Brechbühl AG, Mobiliar, Pro Scientia et Arte, Ruth & Arthur Scherbarth Stiftung, Schweizerische Post, Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung and Teo Jakob AG.
Many thanks to Hässig, Milieu and Kunsthalle Bern.