The two exhibiting artists, Mäschi and Francisco Sierra, are in familial cahoots. The latter has been married to the former’s cousin (Noëlle-Anne Darbellay) for almost two decades, now.
Both artists question the importance of skill in representation. Sierra decided to paint the flyer of the exhibition in his hyper-realistic manner. At first glance one might mistake the framed poster as a simple reproduction on canvas, but one is soon alarmed by the technical skill that went into such a seemingly trivial image. It references both twee, hand-painted advertisements and the traditional family portrait. Both are somewhat apposite. Such extravagant effort for such a short-lived project surely teeters on the brink of the absurd.
Mäschi, on his side, offers an installation on the floor with fourteen painted panels. His starting point is the idea of a carpet, under which the secrets and lies of a family are swept—hence the small gap between the wooden panels and the floor. They could easily be seen as a collection of very cheap decorative objects produced in series. But the glazed wood, ready to be walked on, turns out to be of a high quality and the prints meticulously hand painted, in a simple graphic way in red and yellow—Mäschi’s signature colors.
These twelve self-portraits in the character of the clumsy (albeit charming) Gaston Lagaffe are based on Mäschi’s childhood, during which comic books were an important source of non-parental identification figures, having had neither TV nor siblings. The similarities between the artist and his alter ego Gaston continue to the present day, Mäschi having found inner peace with his markedly unusual way of making things.
"Patiently approaching the creation of the biggest bubble"
"At the ready to miss the right time for action again"
"The way I look at you and light my cigarette"
"Explanations do not constitute excuses by default"
"A little cup never hurt nobody but what if I take two"
"Words always will be words"
"You may say that I'm lost but what if I tell you that I'm just hiding"
"Yet still the cuffs look the same on both ends"
"Wordless but never worthless"
"Some gross negligence may be adequate in certain cases"
"It's all gone when I close my eyes"
"Pride never straightened one's back before I know"
"Independence never meant exclusion"
"I didn't know even if I should have known"
Sierra’s painting entitled „M’s Ashtray“ depicts an ashtray that was made in 1965 by Mäschi’s aunt (Sierra’s mother-in-law) when she was 17 years old. Seemingly flying in space, this still life of the strange (and impractical) object adds another layer to the family bond, perhaps a third generation of protagonists in this Family Affair.