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Zurich exhibition reveals changing face of artistic media

Each year, the best of Zurich's young artists are given a chance to exhibit their work. This year's exhibition, at the Kleine Helmhaus art gallery, offers a glimpse of how young artists are using new media to reflect the growing influence of technology.

This content was published on March 16, 2000 - 09:34

Every year, the best of Zurich's young artists are given the chance to exhibit their work. This year's exhibition, at the Kleine Helmhaus art gallery, offers a glimpse of how young artists are using new media to reflect the growing influence of technology in our lives.

It may be a cliché, but this month's exhibition at Kleine Helmhaus can only be described as an assault on the senses. If that sounds unkind, let's just say that it packs every conceivable artistic form and medium under one roof.

Until the end of March, the Kleine Helmhaus will be home to an exhibition of very diverse by Zurich's best young artists. Organiser, Eva Wagner, says it's an annual event, sponsored by the city authorities. "Every year, we give sponsorship to artists living in Zurich. This year, over 100 have been trying to get support, and we are exhibiting the best ones."

Walking around, one is amazed by the works on display. In many cases, it's difficult to discern what the artist was thinking about. One exhibit is of a coffee table with a television set inside. On the screen, faces bounce from side to side.

One intriguing exhibit is a giant replica of a box - the type which toyshops sell with small cars inside. This one is big enough to sit in. The artist, Laurent Goei, says it's a "souvenir of my childhood. When I bought toys in these boxes as a kid, I always felt like going into the box."

On one side is a picture of miners underground. It's there, according to Goei, because "This is for me the symbol of hard work. And sometimes we forget that artists are hard workers, too. It's not easy to be creative all day."

The star attraction is a mishmash of works all jumbled together. Artists Thomas Galler and Franziska Koch explain that this is precisely what is it meant to be. "We decided to put our stuff together. It's all made out of pictures or works which we put together."

The most striking thing is the way these young artists have used multimedia and other technologies as their canvas. Organiser Eva Wagner says the is the future. "Painting is disappearing more and more. And multimedia is replacing it."

Photograph shows pictures by the artist Aldo Walker, on display in the Zurich Helmhaus on August 19, 1999.

by Tom O'Brien and Jonas Hughes

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