The oeuvre of Zora Berweger (*1981 in Bern, CH, lives and works in Leipzig, DE) includes painting, drawing, ceramics, installation, sculpture, photography and light. Her multimedia works draw on a vocabulary of basic geometric shapes, archaic-looking objects and design borrowed from nature.
Using minimal means and carefully chosen materials, Berweger stages her works as spatial installations. She first examines the exhibition site closely as if it were a pictorial space and then experiments with scale, constellations and displacements while juxtaposing different media. Peculiar features of volumes, surfaces and materiality unite with the perception of light and colour to lend her works an altered presence.
Inspired by the spatial conditions at the Kunsthalle Appenzell, Berweger has oriented her work on the figure of a plant. She focuses here on functions, potentials and tasks of different plant parts to create combinations that invariably refer to something unseen or concealed. While the root system, anchored in the earth and thus largely hidden from view, serves as the artist’s substantive and formal starting point on the ground floor, she equates the central gallery with the core part of a plant, where nutrients are bundled and forces flow together. The uppermost space then holds manifestations of the plant within our own atmosphere as well as its connection to the greater cosmos.
The single light signs of the neon installation Roots (2023), created especially for the exhibition, together form a kind of luminous root system. The neon bodies speak a reduced formal language and evoke multiple associations: they may recall typographic elements, written characters from past cultures, possibly hieroglyphics, symbols, antennae, tree branches or the simplest of tools. Roots refers to communication systems, for example those of plants, which are in contact with each other through their roots, not only exchanging information but also listening and hearing.