Trouble in Paradise
Artists on the Roof of the Bundeskunsthalle

Instead of an idyll, there’s irritation: 14 international artists have created a landscape on the roof of the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn in which nature transforms into a stage for sculptures and installations. The project Ärger im Paradies (Trouble in Paradise) stands for a farewell to the garden as a place of tranquil contemplation. Instead, it’s a question of contrasts between nature and culture, public and private space, but also of human influence on nature and the environment. For The missing landscape (2014), for example, Vajiko Chachkhianis installed 60 dead pine trees on the roof, taken from a forest that burned down during the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia. Michael Sailstorfer lit a fire whose blaze can be seen from afar; happily, however, there is no danger that the museum will burn down: the flames are in reality Plexiglas and are set in motion through a motor.

Petrit Halilaj and Alvaro Urbano, both of whom received a Villa Romana fellowship in 2014, connect the museum’s roof and courtyard through a huge wire mesh construction that serves as an aviary for a pair of canaries. And Tobias Rehberger’s contribution also involves birds, although in this case it’s not living specimens; the artist had three versions of a budgie that flew away when he was a child painted onto green porcelain. Along with Rehberger, three additional artists from the Deutsche Bank Collection were invited to take part: Olaf Nicolai presents a martial-looking steel sculpture that recalls a barrier built to protect private space from outside intruders. On the other hand, Ina Weber’s Trümmerbahnen-Minigolf (Rubble Railway Miniature Golf) feels playful. Instead of the usual Eternit panel construction, she fitted her golf course with the “ruins” of modernist buildings. And last but not least, Rirkrit Tiravanija’s theme is contemplation. Visitors can muse on “trouble in paradise” while gently rocking back and forth in his hammocks—or they can gaze up at the sky over Bonn and relax.

Ärger im Paradies
4/24 – 10/11/2015
Roof of the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn