Furkart ephemera

Furkart ephemera

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An exhibition compiled from the archives of the hotel Furkablick in the Swiss Alps. It all started in the Swiss Alps at the Furka Pass at an altitude of 2,429 meters, not far from the Rhone glacier, on 24 June 1983 at noon with the performance of James Lee Byars: “a drop of black perfume”. From the following summer and until 1996, Marc Hostettler (publisher, gallerist in Neuchâtel and initiator of FurkArt) invited no less than sixty artists to the old hotel Furkablick from 1893 on the Furka Pass, not far from the Rhone glacier. During the periods when the mountain pass was open, the hotel Furkablick and its surroundings turned into an artistic laboratory, a place where lasting and ephemeral works of art were created.

In addition to Panamarenko, who moved into the annex and created his first “flight backpacks” and archaeopteryxes there, the Furkablick has also hosted works, interventions and performances by Rem Koolhaas, Jenny Holzer, Ulay, Guillaume Bijl, Richard Long, Stanley Brouwn, Filip Francis, Mario Merz, Günther Förg, Per Kirkeby, Claude Rutault, Ian Hamilton-Finlay, Lawrence Weiner, Gretchen Faust and many other now internationally renowned artists.

The exhibition ‘Furkart ephemera’ shows original documents (invitations, posters, postcards, correspondence) relating to the artistic interventions carried out in that period. These documents, mostly published by Hostettler, were brought together by Thomas Rodriguez. The ensemble was brought together chronologically and completed with filmed and written testimonies of artists and protagonists – among others Ulay, Guillaume Bijl, Per Kirkeby, François Morellet, Hamish Fulton, John Armleder, Max Bill, Rémy Zaugg, Michel Ritter, Olivier Mosset, Mark Luyten, Lawrence Weiner, Isi Fiszman, René Zäch, Ria Pacquée, Glen Baxter, Jacques Hainard, Luc Deleu, Roman Signer.

The exhibition shows us the contributions of these different personalities and reveals the human dimension of this adventure that left a deep impression on a whole generation of the art world.

It’s important to show this exhibition to the public of the Dutch Mountain Film Festival to reveal the connection between art and nature (the mountains). It is the purpose of the festival to look beyond the boundaries of the ordinary gaze. The history of the hotel Furkablick and all the persons who contributed to this must be shared to the public of the festival and further.

The exhibition Furkart ephemera started in 2019 after Wouter Huis, director of Greylight Projects, invited Thomas Rodriguez to compile a physical exhibition with pieces out of the archive and supplemented with video interviews with artists reflecting on the history around the Hotel Furkablick. Rodriquez then was finishing his comprehensive publication Furkart ephemera*. The first exhibition was held at the Chapel venue of Greylight Projects in Brussels. After this the exhibition is shown at Muhka Museum in Antwerp in august 2019 and in the Château d’Oiron in 2021.