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Steiner & Lenzlinger

Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger have collaborated as an art duo since 1997. Together they create installations that take the form of lush worlds in which natural elements and manufactured objects are displayed side by side. Using green plants, plastic figurines, flowers, minerals, stuffed animals and toys, the artists lay out multicolour mazes in space and play with the processes of biodiversity.

Transformation, proliferation and crystallisation function like the fully fledged components of a work of art that evolves according to the chemical or organic reactions taking place at the heart of their installations. Viewers are normally invited to make their way through a fantastic world which mixes a range of elements that are linked to form dense forests of branching filaments or unusual landscapes. With such juxtapositions the two artists offer a strange, marvellous stroll through the heart of various transformational processes of matter. According to the mutations it undergoes, matter thus appears at times as a locus of the sublime and at others as the incontrollable multiplication of invading microcosms. Both enchanting and disturbing, their installations devise unexpected links between the plant world and the world of artifice.

Steiner & Lenzlinger live and work in Uster, in the canton of Zurich. They took part in Switzerland’s Expo02 with a gigantic Heimatmaschine, a machine that generated plants and artificial crystals. Representing Switzerland at the 2003 Venice Biennale, the two created a hanging installation, a light and crystalline work of art floating in San Stae and filling the space of the church in its entirety. Their installations have also been shown at Düsseldorf’s Museum Kunst Palast, the Museum of the 21st Century in Kanazawa, the centuries-old Stiftsbibliothek of Saint Gall, as well as at the Biennial of Seville.