Haus am Gern – Fireplace

From May 9 to September 23 2018
Outside patios of the Rolex Learning Center

Fireplace by Haus Am Gern - photo EPFL Alain Herzog

Haus am Gern (duet of artists from Bern composed of Barbara Meyer and Rudolf Steiner) evokes through Fireplace different activities that may take place under bridges: sleeping, dinners and other festive or makeshift gatherings. These places protected from wind and rain remind us of ephemeral shelters of marginalized groups or caverns from prehistorical times.

The Rolex Learning Center captivates with its powerful concrete arches which configure a horizontal building dominated by curves. These arches have been built according to a   technique used, among others, in the construction of concrete bridges. These under-vault spaces are covered by gravel; they are visible and accessible but not destined to be used. Fireplace suggests an imaginary habitability of the place.

Seventy plexiglas fires:
No bivouac or camp site, but a light, almost imperceptible sign: Haus am Gern installed around seventy fires made of cut and mirroring plexiglas pieces. These transparent and colored fires fuse with the ground and reflect the surrounding space. The oscillation between disparition and apparition of shapes constitutes a magical moment to experience while wandering through the patios. It is also an invitation to look at the place in a shifted manner, to see the hollows, the gaps, the margins.

Barbara Meyer Cesta (*1959, Aarau) and Rudolf Steiner (*1964, Niederbipp) realize since 1998 interdisciplinary projects under the Haus am Gern label. Their projects stress societal themes. Often in situ and taking place in the public space, their artworks mix lightness, irony and critical sens. Their artistic practices explore the diversity of media – drawing, photography, video, objects, installations and performance – which, put in combination, form conceptual artworks. Haus am Gern exposed, among other places, at the Espace d’Art contemporain (Les Halles) of Porrentruy in 2007, at the Centre Pasquart in Bienne in 2014, and at the Abbatial of Bellelay in 2015. Haus am Gern is also a publishing house in Bienne:

The Artist on the Campus programme:

The integration of artworks on the EPFL campus is part of the Artist on the Campus programme, initiated by the Art and Cultural Affairs of EPFL in 2011. Every year, this programme welcomes an artist who will install one or more artworks in the outside areas of the EPFL campus. This project aims at revealing the everyday space and at reanimating it through artworks which break with the monotony and inject some unknown and surprise in what is known. Last year, giant musical rocking chairs by Camille Scherrer had animated the great patio of the RLC.