Published August 11, 2009
“Many people think artists are slightly crazy. But the fact is, most of them are fucking normal, surrounded by insane lunatics” believe Admir Jahic and Comenius Roethlisberger, the Swiss artist duo showing their latest exhibition “Without You Baby, There Ain’t No Us” at Colette. In that case, the insane lunatic is YouTube: the show consists of hand-drawn reproductions of famous clips, complete with interface and user rating. These framed, color-pencil drawings resemble a kindergarten end-of-year-show, gone terribly wrong. Like YouTube itself, the show is a mishmash of decades and references, from the now-famous Dramatic Chipmunk to teenage memorabilia Beavis and Butthead. “It’s a strange, fascinating phenomenon,” says Commenius about the website, “such time wasted, such a new culture.” Jahic comments, “YouTube is a sarcastic slapstick about the human kind.”
Both artists are self-taught, and were inspired by the yearly school trips to the Basel art fair during their childhood. “We were the non art school boys. Nobody knew us, we never cared about rules.” Their collaboration is a perfect match. Jahic’s fascination for urban pictograms completes Roethlisberger’s taste for provocation. The latter’s show, “Dearest Constellation, Sweetest Invitation,” consisted of fashion logos written with cocaine, glued in with polyester and resin. Their next project will be based on the recently purchased eraser of Lady Di aged 9, and will be unveiled at the Miami Scope Art Fair in December.
In the meantime, the brave-hearted ones ought to take a look at their naughty drawing series based on YouPorn.
“Without You Baby, There Ain’t No Us” is on view through August 29. Colette is located at 213, rue Saint-Honoré, Paris.