*1972 Bern (CH) / *1967 San Francisco (USA), leben und arbeiten in Burgdorf, CH
BEAUTIFUL STEPS #17
2.3 x 8.6 m
BEAUTIFUL ENTRANCE #8
5 x 16.5 m
courtesy of the artists
Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann (*1972 Switzerland/*1967, USA) are a Swiss artist duo who have worked together since 1990 under the name Lang/Baumann. Their body of work includes installations, sculptures, large-scale wall or floor paintings, and architectural interventions.
The two artists work with a wide range of material, wood, metal, paint, carpet and inflatable structures, but their true medium is space. Most of their works are site-specific, some are modular and can be adapted to different situations. Many of their objects can not only be viewed but actually used as well, while others merely feign usability or artfully subvert it. Through careful prior analysis of the location and context of their interventions, Lang/Baumann initiate a dialogue with the existing situation, often playfully upending expectations and disrupting patterns of perception. With their opulent imagery, they deliberately seek a delicate balance between clearly defined categories like public and private space, familiar and strange, art and functionality.
The Biennale Gherdëina 7 commissioned two outdoor works by Lang/ Baumann, that mark the beginning and the end of the parcour at the heart of St. Ulrich/ Ortisei: “Beautiful Steps #17”, next to the entrance of Sala Trenker, and “Beautiful Entrance #8”, on the façade and entrance of the Hotel Ladinia. For “Beautiful Steps #17”, the steps of a connecting stairway in the village centre were painted with a motif comprising five stripes of differing width. The stripes in luminous red, magenta and turquoise, as well as black and white run parallel across the straight stairway. At the centre, on the half-landing, about 1.2 metres deep, the stripes change direction and intersect, to then continue running parallel again across the steps in a new succession of colours.
“Beautiful Entrance #8”, on the other hand, was created for the bar on the ground floor of the Hotel Ladinia, close to Antoniusplatz, which has been standing vacant for years. This bar area and has a canopy that surrounds the façade and corner of the building surrounding the bar with a rounded band. For the Biennale Gherdëina 7, the façade below the canopy was painted in black and white and bright vertical stripes. The geometry and width of these strips mirror the door and window openings and blend into the existing architecture. On the underside of the canopy, the stripes continue in fanned-out rays, which are oriented towards the angle of the building corner. In addition, the existing lighting of the canopy was repaired. The building, appearing abandoned and spooky, was given a punctual, but only putative revival through the emphasis and exaggeration of the bar, because on the inside everything continues to stand still.