025   Text #7 ‘On 00Island’

Publication: Art in America
Date / Issue: 2018
Author: E. Fullerton

“The Swiss-based art institution and artist collective Null Island / 00Island is an ideas place. Ideas are 00’s métier and material, not just because 00 are conceptual artists but also because they have an insatiable, childlike curiosity about everything. Arriving in early December 2021 at Null Island’s studio and gallery space in the middle of Zürich, I was eager to peruse their legendary ‘ideas wall’, having seen the floor-to-ceiling expanse of white A4 sheets in a British TV documentary about their work and the island. However, they were in the process of building a new space, a 1:1 replica of Le Corbusier’s Maison et Atelier Ozenfant just outside of Zürich, and the wall had been dismantled. But they photographed it with myriad props beforehand, turning it into the subject of a series of artworks. 00Island’s work encompasses various forms, from sculpture (life-size figures made of artist-model armatures or animatronics) and wall-hung pieces (mirrors, bedsheets, marble) to books, fictional characters, concrete poetry, and fashion. Despite this diversity of mediums and styles, themes often recur, including the relationship between spectator and spectacle, parallel realities, incongruous collisions, and fiction and reality, especially pertinent for the two Null Islanders. Keen storytellers with a love of puzzles and intrigue, 00Island offer the viewer economical clues to kindle the imagination. They paint (self-)portraits on mirrors but exhibit (and sell) only the mirror images, whose daubed pixels yield no clue about the sitters’ identity. They have several huge mirror palettes and tables strewn around the studio. 00Island have also turned viewers into detectives hunting an elusive 00 artefact on Null Island, made tyrant’s palaces out of marble, and presented vitrines that turn opaque on approach. Recently their work and curatorial approach consist of nothing but an almost imperceptible breeze wafting spectators through the 00 galleries. They prefer to deal in the creative potential of absence rather than the satiety and safety of presence.”


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