director Kunstmuseum / Kunsthalle Appenzell
Heavy Metals / Silk Cut
In her sculptures Alice Channer (*1977, Oxford, UK, lives and works in London) explores the relationship between materials, bodies, machines and industrial or technological processes. With relish, she combines her highly industrialised objects with human gestures or with natural traces such as physical or geological remains.
The exhibition Heavy Metals / Silk Cut spans across the two buildings of the Kunstmuseum and the Kunsthalle Appenzell. It features new works, including an architectural intervention, complemented by an overview of sculptures, drawings and installations from the last decade.
In her explorations of materials and processes, Alice Channer casts and bends metals or folds fabrics, draws with cigarette ash and manifests the hidden dimensions of the world of matter. She offers a perspective on what lies beyond the categories and assumptions that shape our perception of objects and our relationship to them. Channer’s works consist of geological and natural materials or representations of natural elements, such as shells, fingers or stones. The artist transforms these in profound, synthetic processes, often in professional manufacturing facilities that have nothing to do with the production of art, such as factories for paint coating or the chemical industry. She had, for example, the shells of spider crabs and brown crabs vacuum-metallised, allowing the authentic physicality of these objects to collide with the result of identical, rhythmic and mechanical working steps. Industrial methods of production, such as the precision engineering of CNC milling to shape aluminium into the desired form or couture techniques to fold images of geological layers in heavy crêpe de chine, are constitutive of form. Channer relentlessly juxtaposes the organic and the artificial, the biological and the industrial, weaving the traces of production processes into the language of her sculptures. She not only confronts her artistic signature with the cold aesthetics of mechanical shaping, but also points to the fragility of the ecology with these seductive yet fragile exoskeletons.
Alice Channer graduated from Goldsmiths College, London (2006), with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and from the Royal College of Art, London (2008), with a Master’s degree in Sculpture. Her work has been exhibited at the Liverpool Biennale, UK (2021); 55th Venice Biennale, IT (2013); and Glasgow International, UK (2010). She has had solo presentations at the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, US (2015); Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover, DE (2014); Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire, UK (2013); Kunstverein Freiburg, DE (2013); and South London Gallery, UK (2012). She realised works in public space in Joshua Tree, CA, US (2022); the University of the West of England, UK (2021); and for Artangel, UK (2021). She has been represented in numerous group exhibitions including Kunsthalle Hamburg, DE (2022/23); the Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2022); at Marta Herford, DE (2021); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK (2021); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2017/18); MO.CO. Panacée, Montpellier, FR (2018); Museum Kurhaus Kleve, DE (2016); Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK (2016); Aïshti Foundation, Beirut, LB (2015); Public Art Fund, New York, US (2015); Fridericianum, Kassel, DE (2014); Künstlerhaus Graz, AT (2014); and Tate Britain, London, UK (2012).
Curator of the exhibition
On the occasion of the exhibition, a comprehensive, monographic catalogue (English / German) designed by Mathias Clottu will be published by DISTANZ Verlag with essays by Rosanna McLaughlin and Zoë Gray, an experimental text by Daisy Hildyard and an interview by Stefanie Gschwend with Alice Channer.
The exhibition is kindly supported by
Hans und Wilma Stutz Stiftung
Goldsmith, University of London
Galerie Konrad Fischer
Kantonales Landesbauamt Appenzell Innerrhoden
Ernst und Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung