Drawing on one of the few female protagonists of the Reformation, the last abbess of the Fraumünster Katharina von Zimmern, Zurich-based artist Pamela Rosenkranz bathes this site steeped in tradition in an RGB-blue light, in addition to her sandstone sculptures which seem cult-like, but are in fact made by a robotic milling machine.
In this contemporary place of worship, the artist bridges past and future, religion and rationalism, humanism and posthumanism.
Amid the upheaval of the Reformation Katharina von Zimmern, last abbess of the Fraumünster convent, chose to dissolve her institution and hand its building over to the Reformation movement in 1524. She went down in history as an almost mythical figure. As a successful entrepreneur, patron of the arts, and governor, she also took on this historic role with a vision of a religion in transition, dissolving the monastery steeped in tradition and peacefully handing over the assets to the Reformation-minded city rulers.
The artist Pamela Rosenkranz reflects on shifts in religious practice and spirituality, from a twenty-first century perspective, with an installation throughout the cloister, Katharina von Zimmern’s former domain. From time immemorial, humankind has celebrated the winter solstice as the reversal of the sun’s previous dimming, as the date when days begin to lengthen once again. Rosenkranz`s installation opens on the darkest day of the year, shortly before Christmas, illuminating this historical building in effects at once supernatural and artificial: deep blue will punctuate the architecture, appealing to forgotten instincts rooted in biology while also recalling the ubiquitous cold light that emanates from the screens of our contemporary digital culture.
Arched windows and a former entrance door to the Fraumünster are covered with objects backlit by LED lights that oscillate between light objects and paintings. They bathe the cloister and Paul Bodmer’s cycle of frescoes (1924–34) on the founding myth of the Fraumünster with a hyperbolic glow of light, opening up artificial heavens somewhere between allegory and technology. Thus, the place experiences a technological rebirth—as a sort of beacon for future developments in the much-discussed transition from humanism to posthumanism.
Read more (in German)
21 December 2018
20 March 2019