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Capture the eyes
Fabienne Fulchéri

When reading through texts on the work of Susanna Fritscher, certain terms that define her work stand out, having been used over and over again throughout the years: “discreet and aerial” interventions, “sensitive, fragile and immaterial” works. These words, as intangible are they are, nevertheless evoke an initial idea of the work of this artist that remains intact at that moment when we find ourselves face to face with this work. Undeniably, Susanna Fritscher is creating an oeuvre that derives its language from refined forms that play with light and ambivalence as regards their effect on materials, acting within a subtle equilibrium.

If we look more closely at the work of Susanna Fritscher, we apprehend its great poetry, yet beyond this appraisal, that which emerges and catches the eye of the viewer experiencing the work in the exhibition is its radicalism. The gentleness that initially emanates from Susanna Fritscher’s installations is definitely real, yet this is indeed deception, given that the installations both direct the space itself and the movement of the visitors.

In “Capture / the eyes”, presented in the exhibition space of the Albers-Honegger Donation, the extended filaments horizontally striate the space, disrupting any natural flow and forcing the public to redirect their movements. The ensemble is at the edge of visibility; only the light, from time to time, reveals the existence of the filaments. Our gaze disappears in this apparent emptiness and when the eye finally perceives the materiality of the work, it is often in a relation of unexpected proximity.

It would be accurate to say that the work of Susanna Fritscher enters into a dialogue with architecture, employing it as a pedestal (in both the literal and figurative sense of the word) and being revealed by it; yet is it also fair to say that these works enter into a dialogue with the viewer? In recent years, these installations have presented an immersive setting within which the relation to the body becomes an increasingly powerful element of tension. The work manifests itself as a “screen”; filling the space, negating, enhancing or radiating it so as to direct visitors to take their positions, to situate and resituate themselves.

Thus, whether it be her paintings, installations, sound pieces or drawings, the artist always invites us to see beyond them, beyond any appearances, beyond our knowledge of the other and of objects. In order to do so, the artist herself experiments with terra incognita: innovative techniques, and cutting-edge materials and technologies. Yet even here, when the studio work is created “upstream” over several months and via the numerous trials needed to attain the desired results, this process is concealed from the gaze of the viewers, who are simply invited to delight in what they see by allowing themselves to be captured by it.