schwarzescafé at LUMA Westbau will host the group exhibition HOME, the first exhibition to take place in the new environment designed by Heimo Zobernig. Zobernig’s black interior and architectural interventions serve multiple functions: coffeehouse and bar, screening and lecture hall, exhibition space and reading room, and a home for the Kunsthalle Zürich library.
HOME presents works addressing various aspects of domesticity and the representation of interior space. The word 'home' denotes a specific architectural typology that implies a comfort zone. But the home also has a hidden, mysterious side, suggesting intimate scenes and possible conflict.
The idea of domesticity as a counterpart to the work space is a feature of modernity, as are its close ties to capitalist economics, breakthroughs in technology, and notions of individuality. On the other hand, the interior environment stood in stark contrast to the locations of the modernist avant-garde, which did not 'stay home', but marched out towards cultural battlefields. In his essay 'The Painter of Modern Life', Charles Baudelaire portrays a modern painter who curses the hours he must spend indoors asleep when he could be out recording 'the landscape of the great city'. The realm of the home became the antithesis to the site of artistic production.
With the advent of postmodernism, feminism and new modes of production, the domestic underwent a re-evaluation and the politics of home moved back into the domain of artistic practice. Today, as the thresholds between spaces of productivity and leisure increasingly dissolve, it seems all the more crucial to consider the anxiety of the 'housewife' toiling alone within the confines of a domestic environment, as opposed to the activity of the 'architect' constantly designing edifices in the outside world, as poles of meaning-production described by Frances Stark in her essay 'The Architect and the Housewife' (1999).
A coffeehouse sits uneasily between public and private space. It mirrors the manifold ambiguities of the environment created at LUMA Westbau, shifting between a public café, an intimate living room and a themed exhibition.
A collaboration between LUMA Foundation and gta Exhibitions, curated by Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen.