Peter Regli — One day. One night.


Drawing, installation, sculpture

Peter Regli
One day. One night.

Ends in 12 days: September 2 → October 7, 2017

For his second exhibition at Art : Concept gallery, Peter Regli who is best known for his ongoing project Reality Hacking — a series of temporary and often anonymous interventions in public spaces — blurs our screens again. No more marble snowmen, laughing buddhas and bouquets of phalluses. The joyful pop sculptures have given way to the abstract brutality of the stone and Indian ink. The tone has also become darker. A scent of past or petrified life floats: trapped by metal the stones will no longer welcome festivities around the fire, locked in their bamboo cages they will be nothing more than simulacra of birds.

The use of stone, however, is less surprising. If one retraces the practice of Peter Regli, stone is omnipresent, in an often mischievous and teasing way. It serves as crutch to a Mexican bench (RH No. 330, 2015), plays the role of a fake meteorite in the Swiss Alps (RH No. 30-24 Faked Meteorites, 1996) and secretly enters the Celtic site of Vaison la Romaine (RH No. 194, 2002). Both outdoors and in the exhibition space, Regli plays with our representations, our expectations and our ability to look for the familiar within the most abstract. Extracted from their natural environment — Chile, Chine, Canada or other distant countries — and reintegrated in a context entirely foreign to them, these stones, ultimate symbols of that is inert and immutable, become bearers of new and paradoxical meanings. Placed up in cages, they are mistaken for birds. Arranged in a circle on the ground, they evoke a mysterious rite or a prehistoric gathering. Nothing in their objective form or color, however, seemed to predetermine such interpretations.

Beyond the identified phenomenon of pareidolia — which is applicable to any natural or manufactured element — Regli is primarily concerned with this (if not magical, at least unexplained) attraction exerted by stones on human beings. In spite of their apparent inertia and abstract coldness, we maintain an affective relationship with them; which pushes us to collect them, to stack them to mark our passage or keep them preciously. Here, they all look alike, especially in their “made in China” cages. Yet they display an infinite singularity, resisting as best they can to chain production and globalization.

Translation Frieda Schumann


Born in 1959 in Andermatt (Switzerland), Peter Regli lives and works in New York. Spanning four continents, his Reality Hacking project consists of over 365 interventions to date, including such varied works as RH No. 348 (2017), a 10 feet black marble snowman in London’s Regent Park; RH No. 320 (Snow Monsters) (2015), a constellation of twelve marble snowmen in various stages of melting that occupied the plaza outside of the Flatiron Building in New York City; RH No. 297(2014) a giant granite boulder installed on a concrete pillar in the Swiss Alps; RH No. 200 (2002), an artificial doughnut-shaped island built at the delta of a river in Switzerland with excavated material from the construction of a nearby tunnel. Recent solo exhibitions include One Sun — One Moon, Dominique Lévy, New York (2015), RH No. 324, Art : Concept, Paris (2015); RH No. 315: Sleeping Stone, Karma, Amagansett, New York (2014); RH No. 313: Ages of Smoke, Istituto Svizzero, Milan (2014).