Bernhard Rüdiger

Artist (1964)

Bernhard Rüdiger’s works confront visitors with a physical experience involving object, body and space. At once sculptures, monumental models and architectures, through their meticulous spatial and acoustic arrangement, his works seek to make history ring out, and in particular the history of places:  in the semi-private garden of the Antonin Perrin residence in Lyon, Rüdiger installs a model scaled down to 1:20 (5 x 2 m.) of the two old low-rise buildings destroyed in 2004 during the zone’s renovation, and thus recalls the history of the site, and its industrial culture which underpinned the neighbourhood’s whole logic. In Sonne Mond und Sterne vom 13 bis zum 15 Februar 1945 (2010), a German nursery rhyme and the position of the stars in the Dresden sky, during those three days of bombing, establish liaisons between the form of the revolving structure, and the meaning which is released by it. Rüdiger’s works also propose direct physical experiences:  in Ku Klux Klan (2007), suspended hollow sculptures offer both the protective space of the hat - you can slip underneath them and put your head in them - and the dark and hidden place from which you can look at the world through holes. The possibility that the work can react to the visitor’s presence or to natural elements, and that it sends the echo back to it, also underpins the artist’s approach. In Trompette No 7(Petrolio) (2002), the footsteps and voices of passers-by act on a powerful organ-like structure with horizontal pipes, whose vibrations, on the other hand, penetrate the exhibition venue and the visitor’s body. All Rüdiger’s projects are systematically accompanied by studies and models in cardboard, wood, iron, etc., as well as drawings. But they are far more than mere stages in a creative process:  they constitute parts of the fully-fledged work, and are involved in specific presentations in an arrangement encompassing some 30 display stands.


Bernhard Rüdiger was born in Italy, (Rome, 1964), and lives and works in Paris. He graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, and teaches today in Lyon, after stints as a teacher in Tours and Valenciennes. Since 1986, he has taken part in many group shows (Le Magasin, Grenoble, 1992; the Venice Biennale, 1993; Le Nouveau Musée, Villeurbanne, 1995; the Rome Quadriennale, 1996 and 2008) and solo exhibitions (La Box, Bourges, 1994; Centre de Création Contemporaine, Tours, 1996; CRUCE, Madrid, 2002; Traversée Zeitgenössische Kunst, Munich, 2008; Galerie des Multiples, Paris, 2011). He is editor of the magazine Tiracorrendo and was co-founder of the artists’ gallery Lo Spazio di Via Lazzaro Palazzi, a busy venue in the Milan art scene from 1989 to 1993.

Nadine Labedade

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