Christoph Büchel

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Christoph Büchel (born 1966) is a Swiss artist, based since 2007 in Iceland.

Biography[edit]

Christoph Büchel was born in Basel, Switzerland, in 1966. His wife and son are Icelandic, and since 2007 he has been based in Iceland.[1] Büchel creates hyper-realistic environments that create the experience of walking into a mind at work. His detailed installations are three-dimensional renderings of interior spaces and/or situations that often convey extreme psychological mindsets, such as that of a survivalist, a homeless person, or an agoraphobe. These fictitious yet highly believable environments – rooms within rooms – are carefully constructed so that the institutional framework of the art museum and all reference to the gallery context are removed.[citation needed]

A complexity is found in the elaborate detail the artist develops for each project, an artistic sensibility that allows layers of social and political commentary to permeate within a uniquely contemplative space. Büchel locates contradictions and social inequities in the ideological forces dominating society today (global capitalism, unprincipled consumption, religious conservatism, American hegemony) and finds a way through his work to satirize, demystify, and resist these forces by revealing them as constructed realities subject to change.[citation needed]

Controversy[edit]

2015 Venice Biennale[edit]

For the 2015 Venice Biennale, Christoph Büchel submitted as part of Iceland's national pavilion The Mosque: The First Mosque in the Historic City of Venice, partly inspired by disputes in Iceland over building the first purpose-built Reykjavík Mosque.[2] The work, which opened on May 8th, 2015 was shut down by Venetian authorities on May 22nd, 2015, citing security concerns by both Islamist and anti-Islamist groups, as well as a lack of proper permits.[3]

The installation was a conceptual work of art which transformed a 10th-century Catholic church into a generic mosque.[4]

Critics of the Venetian Authorities claim that the proffered reasons for shuttering the mosque were pretextual and insufficiently grave to justify closure of the work.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]