“Rooms are shells, are skins. Peel off one skin after the other, discard it: the repressed, the neglected, the wasted, the lost, the sunken, the flattened, the desolate, the inverted, the diluted, the forgotten, the persecuted, the wounded.”
Heidi Bucher, 1981
In Heidi Bucher (*1926 Winterthur, † 1993 Brunnen, Switzerland), Kunstmuseum Bern is presenting a major artist of the international neo-avant-garde who, in her latex works, explores both the constraints and processes of liberation embedded in forms of human existence. Her performative work draws attention to the body in space, inscribing it with experiences, interrelationships, and emotions. The retrospective exhibition “Metamorphoses I” is presenting all the central groups of works publicly for the first time. They range from the early and largely unknown design studies from her student days in Zürich, via the so-called Bodyshell group of sculptures made during a period of experimentation in New York and Los Angeles during the 1960s and 1970s, and the latex “skinnings” of her major work, to her late work produced on Lanzarote.
Heidi Bucher’s oeuvre testifies to artistic discovery and emancipation of the sensual, sensitized body during the 20th century, paving the way for genderless utopias and positioning itself resolutely against rejection, oppression, and discrimination. The retrospective is presenting around 90 exhibits together with previously unknown film and archive material, elucidating the strong performative quality of her practice. The exhibition is a collaboration with Haus der Kunst, Munich, and Muzeum Susch, where the third part of the retrospective entitled “Metamorphoses II” will be on show from July 16 to December 4, 2022.
The exhibition runs: 8.4.–7.8.22
Curated by Kathleen Bühler. Curatorial Assistant: Marlene Wenger