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Berne's Kunsthalle hosts feast for the senses

A prosthetic leg, a corrugated metal chalet topped by a video of its creator performing an improvised clog dance, and 2,000 apples hanging by strings from the ceiling. All are part of two new art exhibitions at the Kunsthalle in Berne.

This content was published on February 16, 2000 - 01:00

A prosthetic leg, a corrugated metal chalet topped by a video of its creator performing an improvised clog dance, and 2,000 apples hanging by strings from the ceiling. All are part of two new art exhibitions at the Kunsthalle in Berne.

They may sound bizarre but they are fun. They are art and they have more than just visual appeal.

The two separate exhibitions appeal to the sense of hearing, the sense of smell and, to a certain extent, the sense of touch. Of course, all the works of art also happen to be pleasing to the eye.

In the project room of the museum, the Glasgow-born Anya Gallaccio has created what resembles a curtain of apples suspended from the ceiling.

"The apple is a universal symbol," she says. "It is included in classical mythology, biblical symbolism, the fall from grace and knowledge. Newton discovered the law of gravity while watching an apple, fall from a tree. I love the fact that something so simple and joyous can be so complicated and multi-layered in its meaning."

The rest of the museum is devoted to an exhibition, which can be described as a marriage of art and technology. The Californian artist Martin Kersels says a major influence on his work was the late Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely.

Kersels says, "I very much enjoy Tinguely's kinetic sculptures enacting usually pointless mechanical processes which occasionally culminated in the object's self-destruction."

Kersels has created a wide range of sounds from his often miniature installations, some rather sinister but most of them humorous.

Perhaps the most striking exhibit is 'Twist', a prosthetic leg dangling from a motor to which it is attached by 10,000 rubber bands (pictured). The motor makes the leg twist and every few seconds the shoe-clad wooden foot lands on the floor with a resounding clump.

Both exhibitions can be seen at the Kunsthalle in Berne until March 12.

By Richard Dawson

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