For its 10th edition, artgenève has the chance to present Das Floss (2004), a collaborative piece by Robert Elfgen and Kai Althoff that they created for an exhibition at Corvi-Mora in London. The show was called supra caput esse – enthronement gifts. The Latin phrase translates as “to be over one’s head, i. e. to be at one’s very doors, to threaten in consequence of nearness”. Both artists are known for their idiosyncratic, symbolist practice which often has a reference to literature in the romantic tradition. Althoff–as he often does–has written a short fictional story for this exhibition, a dream-like, cryptic tale. It was about an empress who finds a raft which triggers her to think about existential questions and then decides to return it to the sea. The raft has a long tradition in art history, mainly through Géricault’s The Raft of Medusa (1819). The shipwrecked subject seems to be a chiffre for modern subjectivity
Starting in 1995, the Ringier Collection brings together a wide range of positions since the late 1960s. The activity focuses on collecting groups of works and giving them public exposure on company premises and through loans to exhibitions.
Text by Ringier Collection
Kai Althoff / Robert Elfgen
Das Floss, 2004
340 x 380 x 490 cm
courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery