Swiss Cheese Plant shows collaborative and individual works of Berlin-based artists Ariane Müller and Martin Ebner, originating in the specific spatial structure of the Kunstverein Göttingen’s location at the old town hall. This historical space, which was built for the self-representation of the town’s bourgeoisie, has gone through easily discernible architectural transformations, and now presents itself as an enfilade of rooms resembling the bourgeois flat. The exhibition comments on this space in various ways. In Martin Ebner’s work, the public and its realisation in the square, is inscribed in the interior space, shifting and enlarging the actual room. Ariane Müller’s work deals with a flat’s interiors and their hidden spaces. The bourgeois home is constituted by representational rooms and their counterpart of hidden spaces, service corridors, and servants dwellings – mirroring Freud’s analysis of the self. This links to literary references (»The Door in the Wall«, H. G. Wells), as well as to images directly drawn from dreams (entering an unknown room in one’s own apartment), which in their unambiguity were templates for a porn film famous for focusing on female sexuality (»Behind the Green Door«, A. + J. Mitchell).
The houseplant and the mouse are two very different elements of nature within the flat. The Swiss cheese plant serves as decoration and backdrop of the depiction of controllable and decorative feminity in the interiors (in Matisse nude drawings, e.g). The mouse, formerly dreaded companion of the human, is—as we can see in its frequent use as a comic character—now controllable, and from its anarchic beginnings, which in the character of Mickey Mouse hints at its origins in slave work in the US south, has changed itself into a law obiding citizen. A blustering, cursing household robot has taken its place, which contrary to the mouse (but similar to the servants, who were by the way more dreaded for this), has the potential to monitor us and report its findings.
The decoratively lascivious shape of the Swiss cheese plant stems in the necessity to catch as much sunlight as possible in the thick forest, where sun only occurs as sunspots. Biologists have, calculated that the layout of holes and surface provides a slight advantage to plants with entire leaves. Within the psychedelic of a space made up of bright light and deep shade, spatial perception disperses and a new, dreamlike, in-between space comes about. The natural, mathematical precision of the plant is reflected by the mathematical logic of the animated image, which through calculations of pixels can confund us to see movement and space.