Gazes Out of Time

Perspectives on the Collection I

27 March 2021 – 24 April 2022, Kunstmuseum


What can the pained gaze of Lucretia, painted around 1530 by Cornelis Bazelaere, tell us today? Looking at himself in the mirror in 1917—the year before his death—Ferdinand Hodler continues to look searchingly at us today. Gazes are also central to new media: in photographic self-portraits, Manon and Urs Lüthi paraphrase social roles and at the same time take up the classical tradition of reflection in self-portraits. Videos by Dieter Roth, Sylvie Fleury, and Candice Breitz analyze contemporary attitudes toward the body and the position of the individual in modern society.

Gazes bridge eras, as is evident in this time of exuberant communication through images. Coming from the past, they can create presence. They communicate within the artwork, determine directions, establish relationships, and thus construct spaces that point inward as well as outward. They confront us with stories of the past or focus directly on events today. The exhibition Gazes Out of Time brings works from various periods from the collection into new constellations where eyes roam and gazes meet—both into and out of pictures, from the icon of Christ Pantocrator to Federico Barocci’s early Christian martyr, Auguste Renoir’s Impressionist painting of a young child, and portraits from contemporary photography and video art.

Curators: Lorenzo Benedetti and Matthias Wohlgemuth