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25 Oct 2011

«White Horse Dream» by Peter Regli at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

Peter Regli, film still from RH_No_289 (Searching Riders), 2011

«White Horse Dream»
Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen


Fr, 28 October 2011, 6 p.m.
Duration of the exhibition
29 October 2011 - 9 January 2012
Opening hours:
Tu - Fr 12 - 18 h / Sa & Su 11 - 17 h


+41 (0)71 222 10 14

Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen
Davidstrasse 40
9000 St. Gallen

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Peter Regli
«White Horse Dream»

29 October 2011 - 9 January 2012
Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, St. Gallen/ Switzerland
Opening: Friday, 28 October 2011, 6 p.m.

In his artistic practice Peter Regli brings together a poetic approach with sweeping gestures. He became known for his temporary interventions in public space – under the label Reality Hacking he uses both landscape as well as everyday objects in order to twist conventional concepts of reality. His sculptures, photographs and spatial installations are characterised by a sharp observational talent and striking wit.
In recent years Peter Regli has also become increasingly focussed on the museum context as a place for interaction. After his solo shows at Helmhaus Zürich (2007) and Bellpark Kriens (2010) the Swiss artist with US passport is putting on an exhibition at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen which explicitly deals with the subject of the United States. Besides the widest range of associations – from a land of freedom to the wild west to imperialistic superpower – this country inspires a sense of longing, helplessness and rage in equal measure and here serves as a conceptual, aesthetic and emotional template.
In «White Horse Dream» Regli cryptically and playfully concerns himself with US symbols such as the Stars and Stripes, the US dollar bill and the cowboy film and thereby touches on themes such as patriotism, capitalism and ideas of morality. In the process he risks the double balancing act of neither using clichés nor pronouncing judgement.
The new video work RH_No_289 (Searching Riders) is emblematic for the complexity and inconsistency of the USA. The whole thematic spectrum of the exhibition can be seen in it: Regli overlays the western classic The Searchers (1956), in which good once again triumphs over evil and which is seen as a symbol of the conservative McCarthy era, with the New Hollywood cult film Easy Rider (1969), which on the one hand deconstructs the myth of the land of opportunity and boundless freedom while simultaneously maintaining belief in it.
Alienation and irritation extend through «White Horse Dream»: what is inside the ominous, oblong box lying out of reach on a plank below the exhibition ceiling? It not only becomes an object of desire but simultaneously the source of speculation which thereby addresses an omnipresent theme of the USA: conspiracy theories. A stone chained to a column is also mysterious: what irrational fears and projections were the trigger to put it in chains?
With new works produced for the Kunst Halle and the introduction of earlier pieces Peter Regli presents a picture of America that never loses touch with reality despite its wild-west aesthetics and fictional elements and that follows the urgency of topicality. Whether he manages the above-mentioned double balancing act will divide opinions and make «White Horse Dream» a controversial exhibition.


Peter Regli (*1959, Andermatt, lives in Zurich) studied at the Zurich University of the Arts. Solo exhibitions took place (amongst others) at the following institutions and galleries; Museum Bellpark, Kriens (CH); Katz Contemporary, Zurich; CAN, Neuchâtel (CH) (2010); Helmhaus Zürich (2007); Blank Projects, Cape Town (South Africa) (2006); Centre d'art contemporain, Geneva; Kunsthalle Winterthur (2003). Further, he participated in various group exhibitions such as: Utopics, 11th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition, Biel (2009); Nanjing Triennale (CN) (2008); Le Crédac, Ivry S/Seine (F) (2007); Kunsthaus Zürich (2006); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Chile; Kunsthalle Zürich; Künstlerhaus Dortmund (DE) (2005); Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris (2003); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2002).


Guided tours through the exhibition
Tuesday, 1 November 2011, 6 p.m.
Sunday, 18 December 2011, 3 p.m.

Art Lunch
Thursday, 1 December 2011, 12 noon
Guided tour with lunch prepared by the team of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen
Admission: CHF 25/members CHF 22; please sign up: