"All the diversity, all the charm and all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade."
Leo Nikolajewitsch Tolstoi
Tolstoi's quote becomes very concrete when dealing with Camille von Deschwanden's luminous paper items.
The 44 years old artist from Fribourg "paints" with light, using the plurality of paper as a carrying material. In an almost alchemic process she creates paper paths from thin fibers and pigments, which in their density and contingencies seem to carry the virulent nature of a life of their own.
Some of these partly giant canvas (1m x 1m) , the internationally famous artist threads with light emitting diodes, thin lifelines bringing a pulsation to the frame while black abstract "landscapes" exude a peculiar magic with their darkness. A very particular secret seems also held in her luminous cocoons. Naughty furry sprout tufts made of exotic colourful fabrics. "What is being hatched here ?", is the inevitable question you ask yourself. Maybe art itself, can these cocoons be seen as allegories for the creative process, time and growth.
Just back from Strasbourg where Camille von Deschwanden had an exhibition in the Saint-Pierre Church, she now comes to Berne with a newly arranged installation. Luminous bodies with a soundtrack by japanese musician Miyakawa Wataru yield a sensual whole in the gallery room space.
Helen Lagger, cultural journalist