Selina Frölicher (*1985) and Micha Bietenhader (*1985) together form the collective frölicher | bietenhader and are the laureates of the second art prize awarded by the Bündner Kunstverein. The grant includes a presentation as part of the Annual Exhibition as well as the publication of a comprehensive catalogue. Selina Frölicher and Micha Bietenhader do not see computers, loudspeakers or cameras as a convention to be understood in a particular way. The artists look for the defects of the equipment, circumvent their functions or have them interfere with each other. Thereby they create images and installations that question the technologies of our time.
The media installation CRUSH (2020) by frölicher | bietenhader at the Art Museum Graubünden goes back to the images in the work Juxtapositions (2014). For years the digital images remained untouched on a hard disk. By the time frölicher | bietenhader re-examine the videos, they discover that the image-data has deteriorated. Like fragments of a memory, only decomposed images remain. Colour gradations, pixel ratios or image structures are no longer recognisable. Before the videos have completely dissolved, the artists extract the remaining data and translate it into a room-specific installation. As a physical equivalent in the exhibition space the digital fragments obtain independent forms. Thereof they let a fragmented structure emerge creating the illusion of an image, which establishes its own spatial expansion.
In the installation CRUSH Selina Frölicher and Micha Bietenhader give the decomposed images their own physical bodies, and in this way highlight the instability of technology. They direct the focus on its fractures, loopholes and inconsistencies. The work is a reflection on the inadequacy of technological media. The electronic magic of their images shows us the independent existence of machines, which will never be completely controllable.
A richly illustrated catalogue published by Edizioni Periferia with contributions by Damian Jurt, Stephan Kunz and Sarah Mühlebach accompanies the exhibition.