Published to acompany the catalog of the exhibition
Boris Rebetez - Two-story house, Museum für Gegenwartkunst Basel, 2006
The house sounds small. Smaller than expected anyway. And the title of the exhibition,
Two-Story House, is contrary to expectation as well, because it does not allude to the
kind of functional late modernist apartment block that crops up time and again in
Boris Rebetez’ drawings, sculptures and collages. Instead it houses a story or two.
And therein lies its duality: the deeply personal view of lived and remembered space
and the constructivist urban aspect that addresses first and foremost a general
phenomenology of space.
For the artist, however, this space has never been a homogenous place of ordered
perception, but a starting point shaped by layering, shifting and multiple levels.
As Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari have shown, space and time can no longer be
thought of in linear terms, but only in terms of the smooth and the striated, with
endless simultaneities and rhizomes and labyrinthine pathways. Boris Rebetez
explores these pathways in his drawings, collages and sculptures. The filigree pencil
lines that fix, say, an air raid shelter on the endlessly white surface of the paper, the
gridded and modular sculptural structures and the huge ink drawings also recall plans
or models. They are not only instructions or cartographies for implying a somewhat
universal utopian dimension; they also map a personal inner space – a space of
exquisitely lyrical calm.