C (to the power of) 4 consists of four solo exhibitions of artists invited by Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein to explore the museum’s collection in their presentation.
All of the artists share a special approach to telling stories: by reactivating memories, blending facts and reconstructions, questioning images and events, the works on show pan out a new perspective on historical time so as to take an active role in interpreting the present. In addition, the exhibition sets out to reflect the idea of a flowing museum in which each new temporary exhibition gives fresh impetus to the existing holdings. In the spirit of productive "forgetting", the artists are invited to take an unaccustomed look at the museum's holdings and to focus on issues of social relevance. In the course of their various careers, the three artists and artist duo have dealt with themes of difference, the marginalisation and history of subcultures, and the effects of urban transformations on mental and physical space. Based on an interdisciplinary approach, the exhibition also features elements of performance and sound.
Nazgol Ansarinia (b. 1979) grew up in Tehran, returning there after studying in London and the United States for several years. Intensely aware of the rapid changes in the city brought about by demolition and new construction, she makes reference to this in her artistic work. Where gaps arise, they are filled with new forms. Spaces linked to personal and collective memories disappear. ‘You feel lost when you can’t relate to a space’, says the artist in one video.
The Inverted Pool (2019–2022) plays with the experience and conception of space. While looking for a place to live, Ansarinia gained access to buildings in the city which she usually only saw from the outside. She bought a little house. In the course of renovating, the plans appeared to her to resemble a swimming pool. The volume of the house, inverted and recessed into the ground, creates the space of a swimming pool without water with a deep and a shallow end. We now see this pool in the exhibition, scaled down by a good fifty percent. On the inside walls of the pool we can make out window struc- tures. The sculpture opens up a realm of imagination that merges physical, built, outer spaces with psychological, intellectual, inner spaces.
Ansarinia’s monumental work is juxtaposed and engages in a dialogue with Cellule no. 5 (1992) by Absalon. At the beginning of the 1990s, the Israeli-French artist designed six inhabitable cells. They were intended as site-specific dwelling units in Frankfurt, New York, Paris, Tel Aviv, Tokio and Zurich, and they exist as various sketches, models, and life-size, albeit non-functional prototypes. Cellule no. 5 is part of the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein collection. It was conceived for Frankfurt am Main and in terms of its form makes reference to two- storey watchtowers built in mediaeval times to protect against attacks. The cool white and strict geometric shape are also reminiscent of modernist forms of housing, utopian ideas, and minimalism in art. The cells are based on Absalon’s own physical proportions, with a height of 190 cm. The artist’s untimely death prevented him from ever living in them. None of the cells were set up. The prototype of Cellule no. 5 in the exhibition space can be entered but is not functional. The idea of individuality is extremely abstract and non-narrative in Absalon’s work. Nevertheless, it may also be seen as comprising intellec-tual spaces that oscillate between a real and an imagined situation.