RÉSILIENCE BY DORIAN BÜCHI
Trapped and unable to breathe. His deepest fear: being cut off from nature. Caught between four walls. For Swiss artist Dorian Büchi, freedom is achieved by being connected to the forces of the earth. By going to meet them in the flesh. “I don’t understand how it is possible to grow up without this connection.” Mountains, water, plants are part of the entities he considers to be fundamental and with which it is possible, if not necessary, to communicate. “I paint my landscapes like portraits. In essence, there is little difference between nature and man”.
Born in 1989 in Lausanne, Büchi confronted himself to his creative process for the first time in his grandfather studio, a painter and sculptor. He has exhibited in New York and Berlin and had his first solo exhibition in Geneva in 2019 at the contemporary art gallery Un(titled)1983. His stroke, with a singularity, is as gentle as it is brutal and recalls some of Ferdinand Hodler’s Symbolist landscapes. The intensity of the colours is reminiscent of Georgia O’Keeffe’s oils. But the more one observes, the more his work proves to be unique and detached from all past references. “No, I don’t think it’s possible to put me into a box or detect an artistic trend in my work”, says the artist ironically.
On 12 November 2020, Büchi returns to GALERIE UNTITLED I983 with Résilience, a series of paintings and sculptures that showcase a facet of ecology without getting political. A key figure of the exhibition is the prickly pear tree. “It is a cactus that originated in Mexico and was brought back to Europe (after the discovery of the Americas) and has since colonised part of North Africa and Southern Europe.” Dorian Büchi is accustomed to discerning and drawing out human similarities from his subject of study, i.e. what we share with this “other” without being aware of it. “The prickly pear can survive almost anywhere. All you have to do is throw one of its cladodes on the ground and roots will form. This ability to adapt is absolutely fascinating to me, and is a compelling illustration of our times”. Used by some farmers to mark out their land, the prickly pear protects from invaders and in turn invades. For the artist, it is simultaneously a source of pain, through its thorns, and of life. “It is a plant that provides food and drink. I like to compare it to humans, because it traces a path of pain and happiness, which, ultimately, manages to migrate to survive”
TEXT WRITTEN BY MALKA GOUZER