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Helvetia Art Foyer: «Save Our Souls» by huber.huber

In their latest exhibition huber.huber address the delicate relationship between nature and technologized culture, showing how man can protect himself from it.

5 December 2017, author: Margrith Mermet, photos: Viktor Kolibàl

Entitled «Save Our Souls», the current exhibition in the Helvetia Art Foyer brings together installations, objects and photographs by the Zurich-based artist duo huber.huber. In their oeuvre, twin brothers Markus and Reto Huber (b.1975) constantly explore the delicate relationship between nature and technologized culture.

The exhibition in Basel opens visitors’ eyes to a field of associations ranging from nature – both threatened and threatening – to technologies that have the potential both to destroy the world and to save it. «The items on display strike you as very dry, but they all have a story to tell. Story-telling is what interests us», says Reto Huber, explaining the objective of the exhibition. «We want visitors to be inspired by all the things they see, devising stories of their own about them.»

Human protective behaviour

What gives the exhibition its title is an ordinary lamp, its fluorescent tube emitting SOS in Morse code. Another work, entitled «stella maris», is a reference to the invocation of the Virgin Mary as the patron saint of sailors and to the symbol of the guiding star.

The other works in the exhibition also deal with the topic of human protective behaviour: Old stained-glass windows take on a new function as a refuge offering sanctuary. A series of photos alludes to the formula «deliver us» that’s often used in prayers. A high-tech lightning arrester is not properly earthed, making it not only useless but potentially fatal. Talismans and protective charms exemplify archetypical behaviour patterns, and a butterfly squashed underneath a reflected base regains its original shape thanks to the reflection.

Hopes and fears

«For this exhibition we picked out works that make a good fit with the subject of insurance», Markus Huber explains. «They experiment with hope, fears – and with protection.» The artists have created three large spatial works especially for the exhibition in the Helvetia Art Foyer, combining them with older works that go well with the topic.

huber.huber created «Stella maris», the print on display in the exhibition, exclusively for Edition Helvetia 2017. It serves as a template for Helvetia’s 2017 art card.

«Save Our Souls»

Exhibition by Zurich artist duo huber.huber
Until 18 January 2018
Every Thursday from 4 until 8 p.m.
(closed on 9 November and 28 December 2017)
Helvetia Insurance, Art Foyer, Steinengraben 25, 4051 Basel
Entrance free

The exhibition will also be open during the Basel Museum Night on Friday 19 January 2018. There will be guided tours by the artists and curators, and workshops for children.