First Impressions & SOMA 1 at KRONE/COURONNE

First Impressions (Frontroom)

Christiane Blattmann, Ève Gabriel Chabanon, Wim De Pauw, Doris Hardeman, 
Paola Siri Renard, touche–touche

15 March - 20 April 2024

Obergasse, Rue Haute 1
2502 Bienne

Photo Credits: Florence Schorro

Exhibition Text:

How to capture the moment of a first encounter? Does a first impression disappear at the second impression, does it dissipate with time or remain forever unchanged? 

In the course of a research trip to Brussels last year, we met artists through fortuitous relationships. It all started with a first impression, an unusual connection that made us want to see each other again.

Some of these artists were invited to KRONE COURONNE, interlaced in a spatial constellation with no specific theme but a certainty: their radiance in Switzerland. For some, this means being exposed to a first impression, or perhaps a second or third impression. Based on the exchange and apparent flux between Brussels and Biel/Bienne, the collective exhibition FIRST IMPRESSIONS delineates an encounter. Indeed, the two cities share a similar character, whether through their bilingualism or their industrial and heterogeneous history - a whole that nurtures a dynamic artistic and musical culture.

With no premeditation as to the works chosen, the exhibition is inhabited by an anachronistic aesthetic that shies away from classical codes. It oscillates between organic and architectural forms, ornament and functionality, mutation and simulation. Walls speak and open to other worlds. Objects metamorphose and weave connections. A multitude of narratives intertwine within the space, giving shape to intriguing poetry. 

The title of this exhibition refers to a work by artist Wim De Pauw created at WIELS Brussels after an encounter at his exhibition in Lokal-int in Biel/Bienne in 2021. Drawing from different definitions of a first impression, the artist invokes the image of the “ouroboros”, the snake that bites off its own tail as a symbol of eternal return.  

The exhibition is a tandem project with open space for contemporary art Komplot in Brussels, which hosts Bieler artists during Brussels Gallery Weekend in September 2024.

SOMA 1 (Backroom)

Monika Stalder

15 March - 20 April 2024

Obergasse, Rue Haute 1
2502 Bienne

Photo credits: Anja Fonseka

Exhibition text:

Copper is a soft, red-orange pure metal that due to its high conductivity feels every touch impressed on its form across its entire body. It is tough and malleable. In recent years, an abundance of copper ore has been found on the lunar surface, which draws on deeper connections and closer ties between different celestial bodies. Copper plays a supporting role in Monika Stalder’s sound installation that consists of two sound bodies that come together in the BACKROOM of KRONE COURONNE. Three copper records with three different compositions conceived by Monika phase in and out of tune with each other, creating a meditative, rocking motion; to and fro. Abaove, three piano strings are drawn across the space and their length and tension condition the sound. On the other side of the room a Jura stone grounds a copper cymbal. A moment of release comes with Monika’s activation of this site-specific instrument through plucking and stringing techniques.

SOMA 24/25

Sound is a powerful medium. It’s omnipresent. It has a material-affective power of socio-cultural and political significance. How do you listen? When do you really hear? In 2024/2025, the BACKROOM accommodates the practice and research of sound artists in the framework of the SOMA series. As a result of a curatorial research that investigates the emancipatory and transformative potential of different listening practices, SOMA invites to listen, linger, vibrate and hear collectively in a shared, plural, response-able and care-full context. The first episode of SOMA welcomes Monika Stalder.

Monika Stalder lives and works in Zurich. Process is a key element in the artist's work. Monika Stalder moves fluidly between different media in her practice, from smaller pencil and ink drawings of minimal, geometric forms to large-scale painting, sound and video works. Her works are multi-dimensional, with subtle attention to detail and technique, while drawing the viewer deep into her imaginary universe. She explores alternative realms, countless parallel existences of undiscovered celestial bodies. An endless cosmos internalised in the mind, unrestrained by time and history, gender and origin. Her seemingly perfect, quiet forms have a wild inner life that echoes beneath the linear surface - a movement that she can only control to a certain extent, allowing spontaneity to guide her.