Hannes Rickli

Phase II (14. Zustand)

Hannes Rickli
Phase II (14. Zustand),
From Spurenkugel - ein Schreibspiel, 1994/96
Cibachrome, 62.5 x 93.5 cm x 3 cm
Collection Fotomuseum Winterthur

© Hannes Rickli

b. 1959 (Bern, CH), lives and works in Zurich, CH
Hannes Rickli has always been interested in the parallels involved in the quest for truth in art and in science. These photographs from his Spurenkugel project appear to take a scientific approach to generating incontrovertible truths, but turn out to be an ironic play on our susceptibilities. Rickli describes his Spurenkugel installation thus: “In a darkened room, a plastic sphere revolves slowly around a stable axis. The movements of the motor are computer-controlled. Visitors cause the ball to wobble by triggering photoelectric sensors in the room so that a random generator constantly recalculates the parameters governing the direction of rotation, speed and current supply. … The movements of the graphite-coated ball are recorded on its surface by the abrasion of the three points of support. … This process can be viewed on the simultaneous large-scale projection.”DOES QUOTE END HERE?” This method appears to be the very opposite of the approach taken by, for example, Fischli / Weiss. It is a sweeping gesture, setting in motion a technological arrangement more like a scientific experiment than a work of art. And yet, the impression is deceptive, for neither is the equipment technologically advanced, nor is the installation much more than an improvisation held together by sticky tape. For all its air of scientific rigour, what remains is an insight into relativity – and some compellingly beautiful pictures of ‘planets’.