Curated by Angela Hsu
“The world’s largest modern art center, M & C Saatchi Gallery once again brings an outstanding modern artist to the community. Swiss artist Beat Kuert showcases his works to the audience in Shanghai. As an artist who works in a wide range of areas including film, video and photography, Beat’s theme remains the same through these arenas – the human desire. The discussion of desire through images does not lead to desire itself, but to the desire to affect the topic of life and death.”
“Chaos is the word that indicates the disorder before creation or, for Beat Kuert, before the manifestation of his vision. At its center persists, perhaps even obsessively, the female figure. Always different, elusive and fleeting, but always erotically alluring.
Moray MacLennan, M&C Saatchi Worldwide CEO with Beat Kuert
It is not surprising that Beat Kuert considers the sum of his previous works – video and photographic – as a personal cabinet of wonders, which conveys his own worldview. The intent of this vast collection of images is similar to that pursued by collectors of curiosities during the Renaissance. They sought unusual objects and documents, often related to topics like magic, astrology, esotericism and alchemy.
The artist states that an age devoid of ‘wondrous things’, and instead full of events lacking magic, mystery and poetry, is ‘harmful to creativity’. His recent works seem to assert the need to express a fantastic world in constant movement, full of surprise, emotion, transgression and fabled visions. Ultimately, a world defined by art and poetry that is truly able to represent the existential adventure of mankind.” (Enzo Di Martino)
“In my works, I’ve blurred the border lines between frames, opened them and finally eliminated borders altogether. The content of the pictures spills out, forming a chaotic entanglement which appears to be animated by an invisible force.The dissolution of order through the removal of borders is a gratifying and liberating act. Working toward chaos has a soothing effect on me - it is somewhat like returning home."
My “Wunderkammer” Beat Kuert
"I don´t remember exactly when I discovered my cabinet of wonder. Suddenly it was there. Perhaps it has always been there and I just didn’t notice.
"Wondering too much is harmful", said Descartes in ‘The Passions of the Soul’, published in 1649. It was the beginning of a long time of rationalism. 363 years without wonderment!
The time has come for a rebirth of the cabinet of wonder. A life without wonder is bad for the body and the mind but even more detrimental to creativity."
The early works of my Wunderkammer exhibit a sort of forceful dynamism, which calls for increasing the number of frames and enlarging the area. This dynamism is altered by breaching the lines between cells. The content of the pictures spills out, forming a chaotic entanglement which appears to be animated by an invisible force.
The dissolution of order through the removal of borders is a gratifying and liberating act. I feel liberated from the urge of having to fill the universe with pictures. Working toward chaos has a soothing effect on me - it is somewhat like returning home."Dreaven by the heat" (Lei Li Museum Shanghai)
To me, the seemingly chaotic images evoke warmth. I perceive chaos as feminine and as an expression of love, but in the end it also arouses the longing for a lasting order. It is this longing that awakens - and probably determines - my creativity. This necessity to bring order into the world, and to play this deadly game until everything comes to a standstill, to an absolute order which robs one’s breath."