Alex Hahn

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In New York, sometime in my early thirties, I came upon a loose page from a last century travel guide to Switzerland. A sketch showed the picturesque Rapperschwyl which happened to be my future place of birth. Crowned by an ancient chateau on the promontory projecting into the Lake of Z¸rich, the town has been widely known as the last independent republic of the Swiss Confederation. A less frequent feature is its citizens' man-hunt and capture of an alleged murderer, the last person to be guillotined in Switzerland, seven days before the outbreak of World War II. I spent my youth there throughout the sixties partly in the company of friends drawn by the shadier sides of life. Meantime, I traveled some in the company of chance and intuition; I lived in Rome, Berlin, Warsaw and Z¸rich, while keeping a base in New York. In all the places, I took extensive records, up to now with electronic, possibly some time soon with photonic media. The parts of my work - video installations, computer animations, video tapes, writings, prints and most recently a chamberdancevideoplay - or their worldwide exhibitions are too numerous to itemize here but will gladly be sent upon request. More important to pinpoint their protagonist in various guises, optical and psychical, stimulator of senses and bringer of dreams: light. In video systems, light is transformed into an electric signal, processed, magnetically stored and released again as image of light. In my analogy, light enters through the eye into the body assuming a volatile union with matter. Light as light becomes unrecognizable. In darkness, light separates from matter and appears as the bright space of memory and dream. And as for the fiends of my youth - I saw one disguised as a cameleer the other day. Long dead, I thought. Try me, he said... 1954 born in Rapperswil, Switzerland 1981-1982 Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York 1990 Roma, member Istituto Svizzero 1991-1994 Berlin, fellow Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst & fellow at Art+Com 1995-1996 Warsaw lives in New York Solo Exhibitions (Selection) 2002 Musee Jenisch, Vevey (Mémoires Astrales d'un Homme Volant) Kunsthalle Winterthur 2001 St‰dtische Galerie Amtshimmel, Baden 2000 Netimage, LINK, Bologna 1999 Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (Memory of Light), Berlin 1998 World Wide Video Festival, Amsterdam (Popular Admiration Of Great Thieves, with dancer Niki Good) VideoArt Festival, Locarno (Retrospective) Kunsthalle Palazzo, Liestal (The Invisible Never Happens) Galerie ITA, Luzern 1997 Kunstmuseum Bern LINK, Bologna 1996 Galeria Foksal, Warschau International Center of Photography, New York 1995 Kunsthaus Zürich 1994 Daad Galerie, Berlin 1993 World Wide Video Centre, The Hague