Kilian Rüthemann

Kilian Rüthemann

Tools, 2014

Can you tell us how your creative background as stone a sculptor and your studies at Basel School of Arts and Design influenced your artistic development?
My work is still very much connected with my profession as stone sculptor. When I started to do video or working with off-sculpture materials, the connection with my background remained. It's about the hit with the hammer onto the chisel - precision combined with chance.


How do you concretize your exploration of the limitations and potentials of the  chosen materials? Which is the origin of your interest in the physical properties of materials? 
It's sculpting. To use any material (even smoke or water) to form a sculpture with it, to practice and get to know to a material means to control it but to also know it's limits and qualities. To work together with the material.


Does a gap exist between the nature of the materials and the messages they convey?
Naturally it's not just about the material but about how we experience our environment and the materials that are in it maybe in a new way or in the way they deserve.

You create sculptures that border on architectural intervention, like the materials and structures of the space in the gallery they become an integral component of the artworks; How does your installations create a conversation between the space, the objects within it and the expectations of the visitors?
Space is usually the starting point for my work process. Testing it's limits but also accept it as mostly the only way to produce and protect an artwork. Outdoors or indoors the same.

Some of your artworks are close to the artistic movement of Land Art, I refer to artworks such as Eight columns for the winter (2014); Sticks and trees (2011); Ressource (2011); Stripping (2008); How does the interaction between your artworks and the natural environment influence each other?
Well, some artworks that look like they refer to Land Art actually refer to minimal art and vice versa. I'm also keen to make my work visible and not to hide it in the desserts. I almost always show my work in a space (in the nature or in urban space) that is already marked as a space for art.

You are also interested in the process of transformation and dissolution instead of  permanence approach. The space you have available for the exposition creates the starting point for the artwork’s view. Which artworks are dependent on a particular space and cannot exist as self-independent?
There are some works that do depend on a particular space, other ones can be reinstalled in different places. Some of them need walls as a support, some need a room to protect them and then there are a few ones that can be independent.

Untitled (black cover), 2013

Untitled (slope), 2007

Untitled (Masse Critique), 2008

Linger! (5), 2012

Room for Milk, 2013

Untitled (Valentine), 2011

Untitled, 2011

Scratch, 2013

Untitled (white carpet), 2013

Untitled (Sarkophag), 2009

The Sound of Many Voices, 2008

Untitled, 2014


Interview by Irene Meneguzzo

Courtesy of the Artist
Kilian Rüthemann





Hannah Devereux

Hannah Devereux